Chapter 1: Amsterdam
Jyväskylä, Finland [09:15]
It was far too early in the morning for Korra’s liking. Her typical day started with cardio, but as of late, that daily ritual became a random occurrence. She already hated the mornings on principle, but her disdain for them grew ten times worse this past week. Also, she might've been feeling the aftereffects of a hangover after doing a pub crawl with some local Finns she met while gallivanting around the city.
She walked on the apron toward the super-midsize jet. Looking up, she noticed the puffy, grim cloud coverage and prayed it wouldn’t rain. Her very particular passenger allegedly threw fits whenever a delay happened so much as by 10 minutes. Luckily, Korra hadn’t dealt with that... yet.
Korra stopped at the foot of the airstair leading up to the plane. She took off her comfy Sketchers to slip on a pair of stiff black pumps. They went hand in hand with her navy dress hidden underneath her trench coat. When she worked at her last job, a public flight company, she got to wear long-bottom trousers and a jacket. This current ensemble took a lot more time to get used to.
After a short flight of stairs, she entered the cabin. The usual scent of jasmine rose filled her nose to the brim the further she walked in. SatoAir had the most innovative jets and planes in the aviation industry, and the company was only 12 years old. It was a pipe dream created by some old guy and made certain by his protégé. Korra wasn’t too sure of the details, though. She tuned out a lot during orientation week.
Aside from the horrendous uniform and red scarf, she didn’t have much else to complain about. She made three times as much now compared to the last three companies she worked for. The only trade-off was working for a cold-hearted narcissist with the short temper of a bear.
Korra liked to think of herself as a people person most of the time. She never sought out to dislike anyone, and not based on first impressions. But she still didn’t know what to make out of her limited interactions with Ms. Sato.
Lin, her supervisor, reminded her every single day for the past four weeks to get there two hours before the VIP. There was an unusual laundry list of things to do before they departed.
Korra placed her shoes, travel bag, and trench coat in a tiny cabinet space that she claimed for herself. She had her AirPods in and shuffled through a Spotify playlist. After settling with Frank Ocean's Lost, she put the rest of her stuff away.
Once done, she headed up to the cockpit to say hello to the pilot. Korra took an immediate liking to Zhu Li upon introduction. Before every flight, they would gossip. Zhu Li had intel on the CEO’s mood for the day since she was friends with almost everyone from the cab service they used.
Korra entered the cockpit, but she didn’t find Zhu Li there. With a shrug, she assumed the pilot took a quick bathroom break. They went out together last night, so she could've been in a state of recuperation as well. She walked through the long cabin again, running her fingers along the leather seats as she approached the back of the jet. Glancing to her right, she looked out the window and frowned at the skyline of the city miles away. She enjoyed Finland for the short time she visited (only a day) and vowed to come back for at least one week. It sat behind the other 20 countries or cities she wanted to explore.
There was a private bedroom, and she usually worked there first because it was always the untidiest.
Opening the door the bedroom door, she walked in without a second thought. A quiet gasp left her mouth when an unexpected sight greeted her.
She found Zhu Li. The brown-haired woman had her face pressed into the mattress, the top half of her clothes rumpled while her lower half was bare. She bent forward, her ass up and currently getting railed into. With music blaring in her ears, Korra followed the length of the pale hand on Zhu Li’s back until she reached a face.
Korra spun around and shut the door behind her, practically running away from the rear of the cabin after.
Shit! Shit! Shit!
Not even five minutes on the plane and she managed to fuck up on an insurmountable level. She might as well grab her suitcase and make her exit because no way in hell would she live this down. That had to mean an automatic firing, right? She couldn’t imagine the CEO of the company wanting to keep someone around after getting caught with her pants down. Korra imagined the verbal tongue-lashing she would receive from Lin. It would be enough to warrant Korra going into the witness protection program. Though, right now Lin was the second person she wanted to hide her existence from.
She stood there for far too long contemplating her escape plan, and the bedroom door opened. Turning, she prepared to apologize. Zhu Li stepped out of the room by herself. She was wearing her glasses now and working on getting her hair tied back into a neat ponytail. Seeing Korra there, she startled for a second.
“Hey, Korra!” she said, a smile on her face and cheeks pink from exertion. “Did you just get here?”
Korra’s appearance in the room seemed to go unnoticed by her. Not that Korra could blame her…
“Uh, yeah. Yup. Just now I got here,” she spoke.
“How are you feeling?”
Her eyes widened and she stammered. “About what?”
“Last night. Those Finns really know how to throw 'em back, don’t they?”
“Oh, right.” Korra released a nervous laugh. “I’m feeling okay.”
“Great! Well we’re in for a fun week. And I use that term loosely. We’ll take off in about 30 minutes or so. Ms. Sato and I were just going over the schedule. If you'll excuse me, I’m gonna go to the bathroom really quick.”
Zhu Li smiled so big it could rival a horse, and she walked off to the bathroom. Korra didn’t have time to assess that interaction when a deep, raspier voice came from behind her.
“I’d like my Bloody Mary sooner rather than later.”
Korra whirled around, her bangs catching in her face. “Ms. Sato,” she stuttered. Her heart thrummed when she saw the striking raven-haired woman walk out of the bedroom. Her sleek ponytail swished back and forth as she strutted into the cabin. She finished fastening a button on her white shirt, though she only buttoned it up halfway. A perfect brow arched as she stared at Korra, waiting for her to speak again. “I wasn’t aware you’d be here so early,” Korra recovered. “I’m sorry if I’ve held you up.”
Asami Sato, in typical fashion, waved her hand in dismissal as she worked on the cufflinks of her dress shirt. She slid her jacket on after.
“I need my drink before the plane takes off. Since you’re so comfortable around here already, it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, hm?” Asami sat down on the leather couch along the left side of the plane and crossed her legs. Rather than give Korra a second look, she pulled out her phone and started typing.
Her icy tone dripped with sarcasm and Korra started sweating.
“Yes, of course,” she mumbled and walked across the room. Her cheeks were permanently stained in red at the subtle dig, but she wasn’t fired… Yet.
She bent down and grabbed a glass from the cabinet along with the ingredients for the cocktail. It included an expensive-looking bottle of Vodka, the name of the manufacturer unfamiliar. But saying it sounded pretentious would’ve made her feel lesser somehow. Either way, she got to work. As she made the drink, she tried to give herself more time to get over the level of mortification she felt. And from the looks of it, Asami didn’t give that moment another thought.
Everything happened so fast. Korra wished she didn’t see as much as she did, but there she was. She couldn’t erase it from her memory—Zhu Li’s face shoved into the mattress, her hips moving at lightning speed as Asami slammed into her. The precision and look of control in Asami’s eyes made Korra shiver, but not as much as when they locked eyes. For a few seconds, Asami’s expression hadn’t changed. But before Korra aborted from the scene, she was certain she saw a grin plastered on her boss’s face.
Her knees buckled a little as she walked back over to Asami and sat the glass down in front of her.
“I can have a charcuterie tray for you whenever you’re ready for that. But there will be more selections when we’re in the air,” she said, trying her best to sound professional.
“I’m fine with the wine for now,” Asami said.
Korra nodded. She thought Asami would offer her more instructions. Before this day, she’d never seen the woman on board until 10 minutes before departure. Instead, Asami’s eyes remained glued to her phone.
Rubbing the back of her neck, Korra walked off. She decided to do a quick check over inventory even though she already triple-checked it. And as much as it killed her, she went to the bedroom and stripped the sheets off the bed. To her surprise, the rest of the room went unscathed. Though, she sprayed some air freshener that took away any lingering smell of sex.
Zhu Li’s voice came over the intercom a few minutes later stating that the plane would leave in ten minutes. She sounded a lot less breathy that time around.
Amsterdam, Netherlands [21:35]
Korra traveled a lot in her life. From a young age, she moved around, living in many countries by the time she was 12 years old. She figured she’d be sick of it and want to settle down in some place permanently. Instead, she went ahead and chose to make a living out of it.
There were plenty of perks than there were downsides. But those downsides Korra seemed to attract with every flight company she worked for. She loved interacting with people, and if she didn't she wouldn't have chosen this line of profession. Yet, there were those couple of times where a few passengers brought out her less than hospitable side. Her last incident made headlines when an infamous brokerage dealer flattened his palm against her rear-end. She sent him flying to the opposite side of the plane and, of course, someone filmed the whole thing and posted it on social media. It didn't go viral until someone made it into a TikTok and dubbed Crank That (Soulja Boy) over it. Gotta love that Gen Z.
The brokerage company the guy worked for threatened to sue the plane company unless they fired Korra. Then other lawyers got involved, and countersuits were thrown around. The company dropped the suit not long after another video released of the guy’s sexual harassment with other flight attendants. Though it was a major win, Korra wanted to move on after that.
Lin, who was her supervisor then as well, also worked for SatoAir’s private charter company and managed to get Korra a position there.
Korra worked “under the umbrella” at first, which hadn’t been so bad since she was working with, at most, nine people at a time. But then one day, out of the blue, Lin told her she would be working with the CEO of the company only. They both shit their bricks learning that information.
Four weeks later, Korra still didn’t understand why Ms. Sato chose her. She also wondered how the busy businesswoman even knew who she was. What she did know was that she couldn’t mess it up. And she hadn’t… up until now, that is.
“So, let me get this straight,” said Korra’s best friend over the phone. “You walked in on the CEO of the company—a.k.a the one who signs your checks—fucking the pilot?”
Korra winced, one: at the wording; and two: at the shot of tequila on the rocks. She was sitting inside of a hotel bar, winding down for the evening. They arrived in the Netherlands a few hours ago after the most awkward flight Korra experienced in her life. All she wanted to do now was decompress by getting trashed.
She winced as the burning liquid slid down her throat and coughed before answering.
“I am so fired, Mako,” she whined.
“Well, what did the pilot—Zhu Li’s her name, right?—What did she say after that? Was she embarrassed at all?”
“Kind of hard to be embarrassed when you’re getting screwed six ways to Sunday.”
“Ooh, so dragon lady’s that good, huh?”
Korra rolled her eyes at Mako’s childish observation. “I didn’t see much of anything.”
“I can hear you blushing. But that’s neither here nor there. If she wanted to fire you, she would have the minute you walked in. Which makes me wonder why you weren’t.”
“Who knows. Maybe she’s waiting until the end of the week and is looking for a new flight attendant as we speak. I’ve already had my share of controversies, and this just adds to the list.”
“She had to have known she was choosing a wild card when she hired you.”
“Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence.” Korra looked off to the side. Her eyebrows shot up when she saw Zhu Li walking in and sitting on the other side of the bar. “Let me call you back,” she told Mako and hung up the phone. She grabbed her bag and got up.
“Fancy meeting you here,” she greeted Zhu Li and plopped down beside her on the barstool.
“Oh, hey,” Zhu Li said in total nonchalance. The bartender walked up and asked what she wanted to start with. She ordered a Sex on the Beach of all things. “Isn’t this place awesome? Boss hooked us up.”
“I figured you’d be resting after such a long and… strenuous day.”
“Eh. It was an easygoing flight. A few clouds and sprinkles, but not bad.”
“Seriously?” Korra deadpanned. Zhu Li blinked at her. “I saw you with Ms. Sato this morning. I walked into the bedroom and saw you.”
Zhu Li blinked another three times before bursting into laughter.
“My apologies,” she said and went back to her drink.
Korra stammered. “That’s all you have to say?”
“What else do you want?”
“How about an explanation? I’ve listened to you rant about that woman since my first week on the job, and you’ve been with her this whole time?”
“I’m not ‘with’ her. We just mess around from time to time.”
“From what it looked like she was doing a lot more of the ‘messing’ around. And how many times have I cleaned up after your mess in that plane? Do I even want to know?”
Finally, a tint of red appeared on Zhu Li’s cheeks. She pushed her glasses up her face.
“Should it surprise you? The woman’s a total priss, a control freak, and makes my life a living hell. But it makes sense that she needs to release all that pent-up frustration somewhere. And I’m not complaining if that means I get to take a little pleasure in it.”
“Do you have no shame whatsoever?”
Zhu Li laughed and drummed her fingers against the bar. “What, you’ve never fucked someone you couldn’t stand before?”
“No, because I’m normal.”
“You’re missing out then. It’s the best kind of sex. Though, it does surprise me that she didn’t fly off the handle at you walking into her room without permission.”
“Even if she did, isn’t this whole thing inappropriate? She’s our boss, after all. That's an HR nightmare waiting to happen.”
“Oh, Korra.” Zhu Li pinched her cheek. “You’ll quickly learn that in this company there are no real rules. And if you get more comfortable, why not have a crack at it?”
Korra coughed on her drink, but at the same time, her heart leaped into her throat. “Excuse me?”
“I’m the pilot, so I don’t see what’s going on 24/7, but I heard boss had her fair share of flight attendants in the past. Except the last one, but that was because she only lasted 24 hours after getting caught stealing.”
Korra scoffed. “Please. I’m a professional who doesn’t mix business with pleasure, thank you very much. Besides, it doesn’t exactly sweep me off my feet to know she’ll fuck any woman who walks.”
“Don’t discredit her. She will also fuck any man who walks, too,” Zhu Li said. Korra groaned and waved her hand in dismissiveness.
“Whatever. It’s none of my business anyway.”
“Then why did you ask?”
“You know what? I got a full showing of your bare ass this morning. So, how about you buy me a drink so I can get rid of that mental picture?”
“Is it me or am I sensing jealousy because it wasn’t your ass getting rammed into?”
Korra thought they only had two nights in the Netherlands before the next trip out to the United Kingdom. Due to a nasty hurricane headed their way, Zhu Li made a snap decision to cancel their flights for the next two days. Korra wouldn’t have killed to be a fly on the wall when Zhu Li broke the news to Asami. She imagined steam coming out the ears and curses thrown left and right, and that was enough.
What sucked was that because of the storm, Korra couldn’t go out and explore like she always did on a long period of downtime. She had a shelf at home of souvenirs from every place she traveled to, adding to the excitement of the adventure. Unfortunately, she had to make do with the gift shop down in the hotel lobby.
She perused around for a while, in search of something better than a keychain with the first letter of her name on it. Glancing to her right, she noticed a couple of snow globes and walked over to them. She picked up one that showed the city of Amsterdam and smiled. It reminded her of the one year she visited with her parents during the winter. She planned on visiting them later in the week, so if not a souvenir, then the snow globe would make for a nice gift at least.
After giving it a good shake, she held it out in front of her and watched the glitter swirl, grinning like a child.
“I take it you’re a fan of snow?”
Korra jumped and looked over to her right.
“Ms. Sato! Hi! I didn’t see you there.”
“You seemed pretty distracted.” Asami held a bemused expression as she clutched her Coach bag over her shoulder.
“Right.” Korra put the snow globe down and checked to make sure it wouldn't fall over. She hadn’t seen Asami since their flight landed. Rather than recover from the jetlag, Asami immediately had a car take her to a meeting. But that wasn’t out of the norm. What was, however, was Korra seeing Asami outside of the plane. “So, uh, how about this weather? It’s pretty nasty out.”
“It’s proven to be quite the inconvenience.” Asami walked over to her, getting much closer than they’d ever been before. She picked up the snow globe Korra handled seconds before.
“Yeah, sorry that a lot of your plans here got canceled.”
Asami shrugged as she rotated the glass back and forth. “Is this how you would pass your time during layovers?” she asked.
Korra, surprised she was being asked anything personal at all, sputtered.
“Um, yes, sort of. I like to buy a little something from every place I visit as a memento. Though, usually, there’s a lot more effort in finding a place.”
Asami snorted. “You would buy something to remember a trip as insignificant as this one?”
“I wouldn’t call it that,” Korra said, sounding a little more defensive than she should have been. “Yeah, it didn’t turn out the way any of us wanted, but it’s still an experience. I have a job where I’m able to travel all around the world. Something that most people don’t get to do in their lives. I want to have a little piece of everywhere I go.”
“How sentimental of you,” Asami said, her tone lacking color.
Korra muttered under her breath before she could stop herself. “Better than being stuck in boring meetings all day.”
Death and a thousand things worse than it flashed before her eyes. She expected the steam, the cursing, the snappish comeback. Instead, a corner of Asami’s mouth curved upward. She leaned forward, her face coming inches away from Korra’s.
“I hope your sentimental valuables are stored somewhere translucent then.” Pulling away, she looked at the snow globe one last time and took it with her to the checkout counter. Korra watched in bewilderment as the store clerk scanned the item and Asami pulled out her card to pay for it. After packaging the globe and having it placed in a bag, she walked back over to Korra and handed it over.
Korra, still shocked by this entire interaction, was slow to reach for it. Her hand grazed Asami’s as she wrapped her hand around the handles.
“Um, thank you?” Korra said.
Chuckling, Asami walked by her, only to stop. Her shoulder brushed against Korra’s as she leaned forward to whisper in her ear.
“It is such a shame you couldn’t find something else more memorable from this trip.”
She sauntered away after that, leaving Korra there to gawk and question what the hell just happened.
Waiting out the storm took far longer than Korra expected. They were on the third day of sitting around at the hotel, and she’d grown bored. She also knew that other people were growing more irrational by the hour.
“It’s like she expects me to whip out my magical wand, flick my wrist, and TA-DA! Problem solved!” Zhu Li complained.
Korra hung upside down on the bed, looking up at the ceiling. After ordering room service, she went to Zhu Li's room, expecting to get her to come have a few drinks down at the bar. Instead, she found herself trapped there in the room listening to her coworker sulk and bitch about their boss.
“Why don’t you just go sleep with her again? I’m sure that’ll take off some of the edge,” Korra said.
“Don’t you start with that again,” Zhu Li said, rolling her eyes.
Korra smiled, though she became distracted. Ever since yesterday in the gift shop, she couldn’t get Asami out of her head. All the woman did was buy her a chump change gift, but Korra couldn't wrap her mind around the why. She practically insulted the woman, after all. That made it two times that she should've been reprimanded. Could it have meant that the notorious ice queen was all bark and no bite?
“And I didn’t tell you that she’s withholding the updated schedule,” Zhu Li went on.
Korra snapped out of it. “What? Why?”
“She claims it’s because she still has to rearrange her meetings in the next couple of days. I think it’s to spite me for my total control over the weather,” Zhu Li said sardonically.
“We’re supposed to fly into Vancouver in a couple of days. I was gonna go visit my parents.”
Zhu Li shrugged. “It’s out of my hands. If you’ve got a problem, take it up with the commander and chief up in the president’s suite.”
Korra nibbled on her bottom lip and felt a flutter in her abdomen.
“I already escaped termination once this week.” Twice really.
Zhu Li shook her head. “She’s not going to fire you. In her weird-ass head, she’d probably respect you a lot more for not putting up with her temper tantrum.”
“Is that your way of getting her to ‘respect’ you?” Korra used suggestive air quotes.
“Why? Are you looking for pointers? Because for someone so repulsed by the idea, you can’t seem to stop referencing it every chance you get.”
Korra scoffed, folded her arms, and scoffed again. “Please! I’m messing around.”
“Anyway, you’re the pilot, so why don’t you take it up with her?”
“And get fired? No way.”
“Ah-ha! So I would get fired.” Korra pointed at Zhu Li in validation.
“No, you won’t. Goodness gracious, you are so oblivious.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about the fact that she’s into you.”
Korra stared at her colleague as if she had two heads. “A-are you out of your mind? No, she isn’t!”
“I did some thinking after we talked the other day. You are the longest flight attendant she's had who hasn't run out of the plane crying. You walked in on her— in the throes—and didn’t so much as get a slap on the wrist for it when lesser people would’ve seen the door. She likes you. Or at least tolerates you.”
“Aside from highlighting a toxic work environment, you sound crazy,” Korra said, laughing in denial. But even so, Zhu Li’s words went straight to her chest. It made it hard to breathe. Hard to hear anything except the rapid beating of her heart slamming into her rib cage. She continued to deny it. “She barely speaks to me unless it’s to tell me to make her a martini. I don’t even think she remembers my name.”
“What do any of those things have to do with the fact that she finds you attractive and wants to pound you into the hotel mattress?”
“How much crasser can you be?” Korra asked, blushing. “Besides, I already told you that I like to keep things professional. Even if that was the case, it would never happen.”
Zhu Li shrugged and turned away, bored with the topic now. “Whatever you say, Korra.”
Korra chewed on her bottom lip, her thoughts moving a million miles a second. Of course Zhu Li was wrong. There was no way Asami looked at her in that way. For all Korra knew, Asami was waiting until the end of this week. Then a new person would swoop right in to take her place.
An hour later, Korra left Zhu Li’s room with the intention of retiring to her own for the rest of the night. She got on the elevator and pushed the button to the eighth floor, but her eyes lingered on the button that led to the top level.
Zhu Li’s nonsensical theories ran rampant, and Korra couldn’t shake them from her brain. It was ludicrous, imaginary, and inappropriate. Besides, Asami wasn’t even her type. She was bossy, demanding, and a bit of a prick. Korra messed around with enough of those people in her past to know she didn’t want to go down that road again. As if there was a road to even go down.
The elevator doors opened to her floor, but Korra didn’t move. She stayed planted there, rendered immobile until the doors shut again. She pressed the button to the top level and stepped back to grasp the handrail, forcing herself not to think; not to move. She waited as the elevator went higher and finally came to a stop.
Korra leaned out of the elevator to look around. It was quiet, and the marble floors looked as if they’d never had shoes on them. Taking a deep breath, she stepped out and headed in the direction of the presidential suite.
Stopping at Asami’s door, she swallowed hard, squared her shoulders, and knocked on the oak wood frame.
She waited there, her heart hammering in her chest. Then it dropped when she realized she was approaching her boss with no clue of what to say.
Turning on her heel, Korra prepared to make a beeline for it, but then the door opened, and she snapped forward.
“Ms. Sato!” she said. It was starting to become her immediate response upon greeting the CEO. She moved to say something else, but then her mouth went dry.
“Do you plan on telling me why you're knocking on my door so late or just staring?” Asami asked, quirking a brow.
Korra scrambled to come up with something—anything that wouldn’t make her sound like a blubbering fool.
“I, um… You haven’t updated the schedule for the rest of the week?” She stated, wincing at how it sounded like a question.
“You think I’m not aware of that?” Asami leaned against the frame of the door, stuffing her hands into the pockets of her slacks. Korra tried hard not to look at the way the satin silk of her open blouse clung to her skin.
“Of course you are.” Korra cleared her throat. “It’s just that I was planning on surprising my family in Vancouver during our stop there, but if that’s not happening—”
“Oh, I see,” Asami said, smiling. But it wasn’t at all pleasant. “So all of my travels should depend on what you would like to do during your spare time in the cities you say you’re so lucky to get to experience?”
“No!” Korra said, shaking her head. “That’s not what I was trying to imply at all, Ms. Sato.”
“Then are we done here?” Asami asked. She looked tired and irritated. But at that moment, so was Korra.
“Actually, no,” she said, again, before thinking. “I understand that you’re busy, but all Ms. Moon and I are trying to do is make sure we’re up to par with your demanding standards. So, the least you could do is put out a schedule on time so that we’re prepared… Respectfully.”
She tacked on the last part when she realized her tone had gone off the rails, but she could’t help it. Her blood boiled at Asami’s attempt to dismiss her.
“Ms. Korra,” Asami spoke sharply, and Korra thought she’d collapse from the speed at which her heart flew. It was the first time she heard her boss say her name. “That sharp tongue of yours and lack of thought has already gotten you into trouble one too many times, has it not?”
Korra couldn’t speak. She already thought about what she would do in case of abandonment in Amsterdam.
Asami pushed off the door and turned. “Follow me,” she said.
Korra stood in the doorway for a few seconds longer. When she noticed Asami getting further away, she shook herself out of it and followed.
She removed her shoes after closing the door and stared around the enormous suite in awe. The living room itself could fit her apartment in it four times. And the kitchen looked like one she would see on the cooking shows she watched.
Asami strolled over to the couch by the fireplace. There was a table in front of it with papers and several electronics sprawled across it. She found a single piece of paper and handed it over to Korra. Then she sat down on the couch, throwing one leg over the other.
Korra watched her the entire time, and then acknowledged the piece of paper in her hands, glancing it over.
“You’ve had the agenda this whole time?” she said in accusation.
“Yes, along with my diabolical plan to terrorize you all for this nightmare of a week I’ve been having,” Asami said. When Korra glanced up at her in question, she rolled her eyes. “Clearly, I finished writing it up just now.”
“I figured you’d have an assistant do it for you.”
“Assistants slow me down.”
Korra nodded and glanced at the messy table. It reminded her of Asami’s usual set up on the plane, always surrounded by never-ending paperwork. She felt bad now for adding more to her stress.
“Do you, uh, mind if I take a photo of this and send it to Zhu Li? She’s anxious about it.” Asami shrugged. One arm was in her lap while the other stretched out against the length of the couch. Turning away, Korra sat the piece of paper down on the table and took a photo of it. As she started a text to Zhu Li, she remained aware of Asami's watchful eyes. In the background, she heard the soft pitter-patter of the rain against the glass of the window.
Her heart skipped when she heard shuffling from behind her, followed by footsteps.
“I assume this schedule is fine with you since we’re still heading through Vancouver?” Asami asked. She moved closer to Korra, her body heat radiating and sending shivers down Korra’s spine. She was drinking a glass of white wine now, the marmalade sifting between them. When she pulled the glass away, her top lip gleamed with the leftover liquid. She swiped it away in a lingering motion with her tongue.
Korra swallowed. “It’s your schedule, so as long as you’re satisfied with it, Ms. Sato.”
“I’m not easily satisfied with anything, as I’m sure you know by now.”
Korra turned inward, the back of her shoulder brushing against Asami’s chest. Asami’s answer sparked a question about something she mentioned a few moments ago.
“Then why put people like me in such a demanding role? You said you know about my history at other companies, didn’t you?”
“I know about every person who sets foot in my company and on my plane.”
“That’s sort of hard to believe.”
“And why is that?” Asami asked, a smolder on her lips.
“Am I allowed to speak honestly, or will I get fired?”
“My mood is turning around, so have at it. Though, tread carefully.” It could've been a joke, but any word that left Asami’s lips had Korra on pins and needles.
“Well, your turnover rate isn’t exactly low for starters,” Korra said. “At least from what I’ve heard.”
“And do you listen to everything you hear, Korra?” Asami asked, watching her face. She sat her glass down on the table and closed the distance between their bodies. Putting her hand on Korra’s waist, she used a featherlight touch and rubbed Korra’s hip.
On one hand, Korra thought to push her away, but on second thought, all the things Zhu Li said earlier came to mind. Had she somehow, unintentionally, caught the eye of the salacious executive?
Adrenaline coursed through her veins. She saw flashes of Asami railing a body into the mattress. Except it wasn’t just any body, nor was it Zhu Li’s.
“I prefer to see things with my own eyes,” she answered a minute later.
“Good answer. Though, I guess the truth of the matter is, I have a very short list of things and people that I can trust or who can please me.”
“Does that very short list include Zhu Li?” Korra asked.
Asami laughed in her ear, the huskiness of it sending goosebumps down her neck.
“You’re not over that yet?” Asami asked.
Her answer broke Korra out of her daze. “Over it? That’s not exactly something you just get over. And it’s only been a few days since it happened. You offered no sort of apology—”
“I’m supposed to say sorry after you walked into my bedroom unannounced?”
“I didn’t know you were in there!” Korra heard her voice crescendo. “Trust me, if I knew, I would’ve stayed away. But it’s noted the next time you wanna bang Zhu Li or whatever other staff are working on the given day.”
“How bold of you to assume you’d last long enough until the 'next time.'”
And with that, Korra had her answer. How stupid of her to believe she could get out of any of this unscathed. But rather than let her boss see her cry or run out in humiliation, she straightened her back and glared.
"Goodbye, Ms. Sato,” she spat out.
She tried to walk by Asami and leave with whatever dignity she had left. Who cared if she’d be left in the Netherlands to fend for herself? Asami had other plans, though. She held out her arm and stopped Korra by the waist. At first, Korra tried to rip herself free, but she stopped when a pair of lips touched the shell of her ear.
“I can’t get your face out of my mind,” Asami whispered. “The way you looked when you walked in, how you took in what was happening…”
Korra’s breathing shallowed when Asami’s face lowered and she tickled Korra’s neck with her nose.
“Then our eyes met,” Asami continued, a soft moan escaping her mouth as she recalled the encounter. “If only you’d been underneath me wearing that expression. That was all I could think about after you left… While I was inside her.”
Korra thanked the spirits Asami was holding her by the hip now because she would’ve fallen over. A part of her knew Asami was saying anything to rile her up, make her give in to whatever she wanted. And yet, with that knowledge, the warning signs, and everything she told herself she was against, Korra didn’t want to say no.
She turned her face, and Asami moved hers. Their noses brushed and their eyes met. A match lit, and Korra was the candle, hoping she wouldn’t burn out too fast.
Asami’s lips descended onto hers. She pulled Korra in by the hip and flattened her hand against the side of Korra’s neck. Her lips, like velvet, parted, and her tongue touched Korra’s bottom lip. She teased it until Korra opened her mouth. A loud moan escaped, and she met Asami’s force back with equal fervor.
When they pulled apart, Korra took in deep gulps of air, her heart racing. She felt Asami’s hand press against the small of her back and pull her forward. The other slid down from her neck to the top button of her shirt.
“May I?” Asami asked.
Korra, dumbfounded, stared at Asami for several seconds before nodding. Asami’s deft fingers unfastened the first couple of buttons with ease as she moved at a slow pace. Soon after, Korra was sliding her arms out of the shirt and watching it fall to the floor. When Asami stepped forward, Korra put out her hands to stop her by the shoulders.
“Wait,” she said. Asami rocked back on her heels, her hands going behind her back. She lifted a brow and waited. Korra swallowed. “So, this means I’m not fired, right? Because the optics of this already look really bad.”
Asami chuckled and shook her head. “No, in fact—” she pulled Korra in by the loops of her jeans, “—You’ve proven to be quite useful.” She kissed Korra again.
Korra had half the mind to believe this was a dream, but that made her want to enjoy the sudden turn of events even more. She knew it was wrong, frowned upon, and that if Zhu Li ever found out about it, she’d never let Korra live this down. She couldn’t bring herself to care, though, not when Asami was kissing down her neck. She sucked on patches of skin, some harsher than others that would leave bruises in the morning. Her hands traveled up the expanse of Korra’s stomach and traced Korra’s abs with her fingers. Then she slid upward to cup Korra’s left breast.
Gasping, Korra threw her head back. Her hands shot up to Asami’s raven locks as her lips continued to leave a wet trail down Korra’s neck. She squeezed Korra’s chest through the fabric of her bra and, with her other hand, unsnapped it from the back. Korra didn’t comprehend what was happening until Asami slid the bra straps down her arms. Her chest rose and fell fast as she watched Asami stare, eyes roaming over Korra’s skin.
“Ms. Sato,” Korra panted. She didn’t know why she called her name, but when Asami’s eyes flickered up, a flare of hunger in her gaze, Korra forgot she’d spoken in the first place.
“Hm?” Asami asked. As she waited for Korra to answer, she reached up and tucked the bangs out of Korra’s face. Then she pulled Korra’s short, messy ponytail free. Pushing her fingers through it, she brushed it down and then cupped either side of Korra’s neck and leaned in. She teased Korra’s lips first, brushing against them, kissing both bottom and top lip. Then she slid one of her hands down to grasp Korra’s breast again and pull her in. She widened Korra’s lips with hers, forcing her tongue inside and kissing Korra senseless. She pinched Korra's nipple and Korra sighed, wrapping her arms around Asami’s neck. She never wanted to melt into another person so hard and so fast before. To become consumed and controlled.
Asami’s mouth left hers again, and she pulled Korra with her over to the couch. Using one hand, she shoved Korra onto it. Stunned, Korra lifted herself on her elbows and watched Asami unbuckle the belt on her pants. Something about it looked so erotic that Korra sunk her teeth into her bottom lip and spread her legs.
A sly grin appeared on Asami’s face, and she threw the belt to the side. She climbed between Korra’s legs and kept their eyes locked as she leaned forward and flattened her tongue around one of Korra’s distended peaks. She swirled around the dusky nipple and then brought her lips around it.
Korra groaned and brought her head back against the arm of the couch. Even though she saw it with her own eyes, she couldn’t believe the effortless suave of her boss. She felt out of her depth, even though this was far from her first time.
Wanting to gain back some control, she forced her hands between them and unbuttoned Asami’s shirt. Asami allowed this and pulled away to shrug out of it. When Korra moved to unfasten the bra, Asami snatched her wrists and raised them above Korra’s head. Korra arched when that talented mouth latched onto her chest. Asami went lower until she had to release Korra’s wrists. She kissed Korra’s navel and kept going until she ended at the hem of Korra’s jeans. After unfastening them, she hooked her fingers inside, and with the grace of a feline, she removed both jeans and panties.
Korra felt hot flashes all over her body, starving for Asami’s hands to touch her everywhere. A small whimper left her, and she fondled her breasts. Asami watched with a hooded expression, and Korra smirked. Having those olivaceous depths ravish her body caused a flutter in Korra’s chest. Warmth spread in her abdomen and her center pulsated. She pinched her nipples harder, moaned, and shut her eyes.
“Touch yourself,” Asami commanded in a low growl that had Korra dripping down her thighs. Mewling, she brought her one hand downward, watching with a bit of sadism as Asami’s eyes narrowed at how slow she went. One finger slipped between her folds and slid inside with little resistance. When she pulled out, her finger glistened with her wet juices. She brought it up to her mouth and watched Asami’s face as she tasted herself.
“More,” Asami said. And luckily for her, Korra wasn’t in the mood for games.
She pushed herself up the couch, giving her back support, and spread her knees. In this position, Asami could see everything, and a flush crept up Korra’s cheeks at being so exposed. The sheer look of desire on Asami’s face kept her going.
This time, she used two fingers, moaning as her walls fluttered around her. Her breath shook and she gripped her breast again, squeezing as she pushed her fingers in deeper. They sped up as she relaxed more. She closed her eyes and rubbed her clit between her fingers until her slick covered them once again. More moans slipped out of her, and she could hear the wet sounds as her fingers moved in and out in a blur. Her breathing became heavier, and she cried out as she felt an orgasm approach.
All too suddenly, her hand came out of her without her permission. She cracked her eyes open and her breath hitched when she saw Asami with one hand down the front of her open slacks as she watched Korra.
“M-Ms. Sato,” she breathed out.
Asami’s eyes snapped open and locked with Korra’s. She watched Korra’s expression and released an erotic moan that pierced Korra’s chest down to her simmering center.
“I could watch this for days,” Asami said. She brought Korra’s fingers up to her mouth and tasted the juices that lathered them. Korra watched in awe, still twitching from her unreleased orgasm, but transfixed. Asami shut her eyes as she savored Korra’s nectar, lapping at her fingers until they were clean. “I wanna taste more of you.”
“Please,” Korra begged, too aroused to feel any shame. “Need more,” she panted.
“I can give you a lot more than this,” Asami promised. She released Korra’s hand and bent down. Hooking her arms under Korra’s thighs, she lowered herself until her nose and lips brushed against Korra’s dripping sex. It was barely a touch, but it still had Korra moaning and, again, begging for more.
Asami arched her back and leaned forward. She used two fingers to spread soaking lips apart and pressed her mouth against Korra’s pussy.
Korra went wild, howling as Asami’s tongue circled her clit while fingering her. She pushed her fingers through Asami’s hair, urging her to go faster and suck harder. As she neared completion, she voiced her impending release.
Asami pulled away for a second and murmured, “come as many times as you want, pretty girl.”
Korra’s eyes squeezed shut when Asami’s tongue entered again. It curled past her hood and she flattened her lips on Korra’s clit. Korra screamed and clutched Asami’s hair, bursting into her mouth. Her body convulsed and several words came out of her mouth that she couldn’t even decipher.
Her staggering breaths traveled through the room, and she leaned her cheek up against the back of the couch. Asami moved away, but Korra couldn’t open her eyes to see where she went or what she was doing. Minutes passed, and then she heard footsteps padding against the floor. Opening her eyes, she released a shaky breath.
Asami walked over to her, nude now except with a strap-on hanging between her legs.
“Like what you see?”
After regaining her breath, Korra scoffed. “Yeah, though I hope it’s been thoroughly cleaned.”
“We still have to work on that mouth of yours, don’t we?” Asami asked, an empty threat that still made Korra shiver at the implications. Asami got into her original position and placed her hands on Korra’s knees. Leaning forward, she captured Korra’s lips in a chaste kiss, then got into her ear. “I haven’t stopped thinking about doing this,” she murmured.
Korra swallowed when she felt Asami’s fingers enter her again, sinking to the knuckles. Her light touch worked Korra up again, and she instinctively rolled her hips.
“Me too,” she admitted.
Asami removed her fingers and held out her clean hand. “Turn around.”
Korra took Asami’s hand and pulled herself up. Biting her lip, she turned and got on her hands and knees. She felt Asami’s hands fall to her hips and looked over her shoulder. Their eyes met and held as Asami slipped between Korra’s legs.
“This is what you want, isn't it?” Asami asked, a smirk on her face.
Korra nodded. “Fuck yes.”
“Good because I plan on fucking you senseless.”
Asami kept hold of Korra’s hip with one hand while grabbing her cock with the other. She rubbed it between Korra’s lips a few times, lube smearing against Korra’s slit and mixing with her slick. Korra moaned and fell forward, pressing her ass into Asami more.
“So big,” she panted.
“I want you to take it all,” Asami said. She tenderly rubbed Korra’s hip.
Korra brought her face down into the cushions to hide her smile. “Yes, Ms. Sato,” Korra said.
Asami pushed in, got a few inches inside, stopped, then repeated the motion. Korra hissed and groaned, but once her muscles got used to the stretch, it was easier to push back.
“Fuck, you're tight” Asami said. She smoothed her hands over Korra’s derrière and gave her left cheek a harsh slap. Korra shouted in surprise, then moaned again when Asami slipped inside more. She looked back, mouth open and eyes half-closed, and watched Asami work dexterously.
“Your face…” Asami said. She brushed Korra’s hair out of the way so she could get a better look. “It’s exactly how I imagined.”
Korra couldn’t say anything to that compliment, only moan. She spread her knees and felt the burn of the stretch as Asami buried herself to the hilt. Falling forward again, she wrapped her arms around the throw pillow beneath her and hugged it. Whimpers and desperate cries left her mouth when Asami moved faster. She gripped Korra’s hips and forced her back as she snapped her hips forward.
“Fuck!” Korra shouted.
“Mm, you're taking me so well,” Asami said. “You’re such a good girl.”
Korra clenched around the thick, piercing cock as it drilled into her. Their hips smacked together, creating a cadence loud enough to tear the hotel walls down. She called out to Asami by her title once more.
“No, say my name,” Asami said. Instead of sounding demanding like every other time, this came out as more of a plea. “God, baby, say my name.” She reached around and rubbed Korra's pussy in fast, jerky motions.
Korra couldn’t register what that request might have implied. Instead, she threw her head back onto Asami’s shoulder and she screamed her name repeatedly.
“Asami! Oh, god! Asami, harder! Don’t stop!”
Asami’s grip tightened, and their pace grew more feverish until Korra felt that coil in her belly snap. She jolted, then froze, and she spilled onto Asami’s rod. No sound left her mouth, and she only heard static in her ears as she saw white. Something caught around her throat, which she came to realize was Asami’s hand. Asami turned Korra’s head and eagerly met her lips in an open, wet kiss. Korra moaned in her mouth as their tongues tangled. Her body turned to jelly, and Asami’s hold on her was the only thing to keep her up as her extended orgasm faded.
After a while, Asami let go, and Korra fell forward into the couch. She was fucked to pieces, it seemed. She couldn’t move, but Asami didn’t seem to mind. She pulled out of Korra and forced her onto her back. A minute later, Korra felt something warm and wet slide up against chin, then over her lips. She opened her mouth and stuck out her tongue on instinct.
“Oh, yes!” Asami cried out. Korra's eyes peeked open, and she found her boss riding her face to kingdom come. Asami clutched her chest with one hand and used the other to grip Korra’s hair. Her tossed locks, flushed cheeks, husky moans, and sweet taste stirred a deep desire within Korra to make this woman come a thousand—no, a million times. When her arms gained back feeling, she wrapped them around Asami’s thighs and pushed her tongue deeper into dripping folds. Asami groaned, threw her head back, and convulsed as a stream of her libation poured out and drenched Korra’s lips and chin. Korra hummed in pleasure and lapped up every single drop. A string of saliva left her mouth when Asami pulled away and slid down. She fell on top of Korra in a heap, her hard breathing matched Korra’s. Though, even then, she still seemed in control of every movement, every breath, and every beat of her heart.
Korra wrapped her arms around Asami, uncaring if Asami liked to be cuddled or not. She was exhausted now and needed whatever little intimacy she could latch onto.
Neither of them said anything, but Korra tried not to think about it, or the repercussions she’d face in the morning. Instead, she let her heavy eyes close and body relax into the couch. That was when she felt soft fingers run through her hair, followed by a light kiss on her shoulder. As she fell into a deep slumber, she heard Asami’s final words for the night.
“I can’t wait to have so much more fun with you.”
Korra woke the next morning with sore muscles and an ache between her thighs. Her only comfort was the Egyptian sheets she cocooned herself in and the soft king-sized mattress.
Those last two details made her eyes snap wide open and shoot up from the bed, wincing at the ache between her legs. Looking out the window, she noticed the storm finally passed. That more than likely meant they would leave out today.
Korra noticed the left side of the bed was already made and wondered if Asami slept in it at all. Korra didn't remember making it to the last night, which must've meant Asami carried her?
Thinking of her bedmate made Korra cover her face and groan out loud. She couldn’t believe she got herself into this. What would happen now? Could she even go back to doing her job after this?
There was a knock on the door, and she looked over in panic. Asami walked in wearing only a robe.
“Good, you’re finally awake,” she said as if everything was normal. “We’ll be checking out at noon. That should be enough to gather your belongings, yes?”
Korra couldn’t find her voice for several seconds.
“Um, where are my clothes?” she asked.
Asami pointed over to the dresser with a mirror attached where Korra’s clothes sat neatly folded.
Clearing her throat, Korra pushed the covers off and got up from the bed. She couldn’t even bring herself to look at Asami as she walked across the room naked in broad daylight. Her walk of shame back to her room would be one of magnetic proportion.
When she got to the mirror, she winced at the several hickeys on both sides of her neck. She took the time to assess all the damage and became so distracted that she didn’t notice Asami walking up behind her.
“I could cover those up for you,” she said, her fingers brushing Korra’s neck. Their eyes met in the mirror.
“No, it’s fine, Ms. Sato,” Korra mumbled and looked away.
“What happened to calling me by my name? You said it so well last night,” Asami said. One of her hands trailed down Korra’s shoulder and stopped at her elbow.
Embarrassed, Korra looked elsewhere. “I thought that’s what you preferred during office hours.”
“You’re not going to be weird about this, are you?” Asami asked, sounding genuinely curious.
“Weird about sleeping with my boss? No, never,” Korra said dryly. She found her underwear and was about to put it on, but then she found herself spinning around. Asami put her hands on Korra’s hips and brought their bodies together.
“I don’t feel weird, and neither should you,” Asami said. She kissed Korra, and Korra let out a quiet gasp. When she got over the initial surprise, she brought her arms around Asami’s neck, moaning when Asami’s caught a handful of her ass.
Asami pulled away, but not before brushing Korra’s hair behind her ear.
“Get dressed. There’s breakfast for you,” she said and walked out of the room.
Korra inhaled. She turned back to the mirror and noticed a goofy smile on her face and wiped it away. Asami was good at distraction, seeing as how Korra still had no idea what any of this meant. It didn’t look like she’d be getting an explanation any time soon either.
She started putting on her clothes. When she got to her shirt, she stopped when she noticed an article of clothing that wasn’t hers. Hooking her finger around it, she picked up a red thong with lace. With the way it sat so tidy in similar fashion to her clothes, it couldn't have been accidentally mixed up with Korra’s.
She ended up grinning again despite herself. After a quick look behind her to see if Asami was standing near the door, she stuffed the thong into her pocket. As it turned out, she found something memorable in Amsterdam after all.
Chapter 2: Nagoya
Korra knew it needed to end. If only she could get her body to listen.
Satobus ACJ320 [07:25]
This couldn’t keep happening. Korra knew that. It shouldn’t have happened the first time or the several times that followed. But it wasn’t her fault. No. She didn’t start this. She was just a flight attendant doing her job. There was no one else to blame except for—
“Ms. Sato!” Korra gasped and covered her mouth. She looked down at the dark head of hair between her thighs. Asami somehow managed to still look proper on her knees. She sat like a princess at a picnic in the Botanical Gardens, and Korra was her full course meal.
Her legs were draped over her boss’s shoulders, her back arching whenever Asami sucked hard enough to make her squeal but just on the edge of making her come. Those harsh sucks resounded in the cabin of the ultra-long jet. Asami’s mouth held no restraint against Korra’s swollen clit. She lost track of how many times she’d come, all the stars she saw. She throbbed against Asami’s tongue when she felt a hum, the vibrations providing extra stimulus. Korra panted and squirmed, at a constant battle with herself over whether to let go or make it last, if possible.
She bit her lip to hold in the cry of contrary frustration and pure ecstasy. When she turned her head to the side, she caught sight of the puffy clouds and blue sky out the window. A wonderful metaphor, she thought. Right now, she was above any cloud, soaring higher than any bird and breaking through the atmosphere. Her destination? Fuck if she knew.
The swirl of Asami’s tongue brought her head forward again and their eyes locked. Korra’s heart hammered at the intense stare Asami pressed her with. She gripped Korra’s hips, shoving her dress up past her waist, and then used one hand to grasp Korra’s right breast, free of the confinements of both dress and bra.
Korra kept her hand over her mouth, her eyes squeezing shut when her spongy walls fluttered and clenched. She spilled into her boss’s mouth seconds later, writhing and arching off the pleather couch. As hard as she tried to keep quiet, a few moans slipped out anyway.
She fell back into the seat and watched the room spin as it did every time. A whimper left her mouth when Asami pressed soft kisses against her after she finished drinking up everything Korra offered.
“Exquisite,” said Asami. She wiped her mouth and placed Korra's legs back on the floor.
Korra, still catching her breath, peeked one eye open and her heart leaped at the gentle expression on Asami’s face. A hallucination, it must’ve been.
“Ms. Sato,” she whispered and tiredly reached out to touch Asami’s cheek. But just as she made contact, Asami caught her wrist. She stood up and cleared her throat.
“Clean yourself up, then clean up your mess. I’d also like my breakfast in the next 30 minutes.”
She dropped Korra's hand and grabbed her suit jacket, throwing it over her shoulder and strutting to the back of the cabin without another word. The door to the bedroom slammed shut, and even the click of the lock sounded heavy.
Korra pulled down her dress and smoothed out the wrinkles, but that was about as much as she could do. Her endorphins engulfed her, swirling, chasing, catching, and finally bursting. Black spots still invaded her vision. The only thing that seemed somewhat normal was the silence that greeted her.
Sitting up, she pushed her fingers through her loose hair. For some reason, Asami would always take it down.
‘Always.’ Tch. More like just a couple of times. After Amsterdam, Korra thought things would go back to normal. It was one night, and only happened once, she told herself. Asami was stressed, they were both irritable, and things got out of hand. But that was it. It had to be it.
That became her mantra until their next encounter happened, and the time after that and the time after that. Now, four weeks later, she was deep in the thick of it. Those rationalizations seeped out of her brain and scattered elsewhere like the contents of a piñata every time they were in the same room together. All it took was one look; a command; or like today when Asami “accidentally” brushed up against her to reach in the cabinet above Korra’s head—and Korra instantly became moist. She turned, pulled Asami in by grasping her $6,000 Armani suit and kissed her with the force of heavy rain. Then begged to be fucked. It wasn’t normal, it was witchcraft.
In between being screwed in ways she never thought possible, Korra noticed how Asami’s attitude had not changed. She remained fastidious in her demands and quick to become irate when things didn’t go according to her plans. Apart from the morning after their tryst in Amsterdam, that softness Korra witnessed from her that day became a distant memory, if not an illusion. Except, there were times like those few seconds before she retreated to her room that a flash of something appeared in her eyes. Korra couldn’t place it or recognize it.
She stood up and cursed when she stumbled, her legs still feeling like jelly. Where were her damn panties?
After searching around for several minutes, she found them chucked across the plane under one of the seats. She slipped them on just in time to hear the phone ringing from the wall. Zhu Li no doubt needed her for something in the cockpit. Sighing, Korra gave one final look in the direction Asami went. What the hell was up with her disappearing act anyway? It happened every single time. Why wouldn’t she allow Korra to touch her yet she could claim every part of Korra’s body with hands and mouth?
Why the hell did it even matter?
She slicked down her dress again and grabbed two water bottles from the fridge before making her way up to the front and entering the cockpit. Zhu Li was laser-focused on the cloudy sky and had her headset on.
“Is this the day we finally crash onto a deserted island and I’m eating shellfish for the rest of my life?” she asked.
“If you think a few wispy clouds are enough to send me spiraling, why are you flying with me anyway?”
“What can I say? I live for danger. Did you need something?”
“I think my blood sugar is a little low. Can you look in my bag over there and get out a granola bar and that bag of aspirin? They’re in the front zipper.”
“Of course.” Korra sat the waters down and quickly located the bag. She walked over a second later with two pills and the cereal bar and placed them beside Zhu Li along with one of the waters. “I was joking before. Please don’t crash us.”
Zhu Li rolled her eyes and opened her mouth to say something, but when she looked over at Korra, she paused and stared long enough for Korra to become uncomfortable.
“What?” Korra asked.
“Your hat’s missing. And why do you look like you just opened up the overwing exit and stuck your head outside for fresh air?”
Korra’s hands went to her head and she felt the out-of-place strands and nest on the crown of her head. Shit.
“Well, you know how turbulence gets sometimes, and it’s humid up here a lot," she tried to explain in total nonchalance.
“Turbulence?” Zhu Li repeated in amusement. Korra continued to flatten her hair and push it behind her ears. “Ho-ly shit,” Zhu Li said, throwing her headset to the side. Korra watched in nervousness as the gears turned in the pilot’s head. Her eyes widened behind ocular frames and a huge smile lit across her face. “I never thought it’d actually happen, but it happened. She fucked you, didn’t she?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Now if you don’t need anything else—”
“You’re saying one thing, but that heavy breathing and those flushed cheeks are saying something different.” Zhu Li regarded her with a quick sweep of her eyes.
“I think you underestimate how hard my job is."
“Yes, Ms. Sato surely keeps you busy.” Zhu Li laughed when Korra rolled her eyes. “You’re making this way too easy, so just fess up already. In the meanwhile I’ll look for those so-called morals of yours somewhere in the clouds.”
“Okay, fine. Fine. You caught me.” Korra sighed and slumped down in the second pilot chair. Meanwhile, Zhu Li made an indecipherable noise, a mix between a laugh and a squeal.
“Guess I was right about her being into you. Or were you into her? What sealed the deal? When did this all happen?”
“A couple of weeks ago… in Amsterdam.”
“What?” Zhu Li shouted, and Korra told her to hush. Her voice went several pitches lower as more questions and thoughts poured out of her. “Why didn’t you tell me? How did I not know? Wait. How many times has it happened since then? I guess that explains your overly cheery mood lately.”
“I didn’t want to tell you because I knew you’d mock me.”
“Who me? Never!” Zhu Li batted her eyelashes. She laughed at Korra’s narrowed gaze. “Come on, it is funny. After all that talk about how you’re so pure—”
“I never said that.”
“—and how you would neeever do something as reprehensible as sleeping with your boss. How long after our conversation did it take for you to cave? A day?” Korra’s eyes shifted at the question and silence passed between them. “No way! You couldn’t even last a few hours? Oh, you poor thing.”
“Shush,” Korra threatened. It didn’t stop the rounds of laughter that floated around the cockpit. Zhu Li slapped her knee and clutched her chest.
“Hey, I have no room to judge. Ms. Sato can be very irresistible. I’m sure others can attest.”
It was a light-hearted comment in passing, but it made Korra uneasy, nonetheless. She didn’t think about Asami’s former (or current) partners. Out of sight, out of mind. Though, with Zhu Li as one of those participants in Asami’s call-back list, it couldn’t be completely out of sight.
“Have you two, you know, did anything lately?” Korra asked, looking down at her shoes in the process.
“Nope. Not since the last time you got the free showing.”
Korra raised her head and watched Zhu Li open her granola bar unbothered.
“Do you miss it?”
Zhu Li blew her lips together and scoffed. “‘Miss’ is giving that woman too much credit. She’s like a scratch to an itch. I’m constantly traveling, so I’ve gotta get my rocks off occasionally. It’s nothing serious, and it shouldn’t be for you either.”
“It’s not,” Korra said, waving her hand dismissively with a pathetic attempt at a laugh. “It doesn’t matter anyway. This last time was it. It’s over and these legs are closed.”
“Until she spreads you open again like the delectable peach you are. Why did you not consult with me about the rules first before hopping on the pole of no return?”
“I’m serious. I’m not some fucktoy she can play around with at her leisure. We’re going back to the way things were.”
“You told her that to her face?”
“Well, no,” Korra faltered. “But she knows. She has to know.”
Zhu Li laughed and shook her head. “Korra, my friend, you are in far too deep and you don’t even know it. It’s not over until she says it’s over.”
“I’m not playing by any other person’s rules but my own. She may get her way with all the other people in her harem, but not me. I know how this ends, so it’s better to just keep my eyes forward, and she’ll eventually get the picture.”
“You believe that? Truly?” Zhu Li deadpanned.
“Yes, truly.” She meant it. Wanted to mean it. She and Asami had their fun, but she wasn’t going to readily make herself available anymore. Even if her body demanded it, she could protest. For the sake of keeping her job, she would protest it.
Nagoya, Japan [23:12]
She couldn’t stop checking her phone. It mocked and belittled her, sitting there on the hotel nightstand with not a single notification to light up the home screen. The only texts she received were from Lin earlier, doing her daily check-in. It was noon where her supervisor was currently located. Luckily they had only been communicating through texts lately. Every time they spoke, Lin was always overly curious, asking about how Asami seemed, what meals Korra was preparing. It made Korra nervous because for as long as she knew Lin, the older woman could easily crack the most durable.
Around this time at night, she became restless. At least lately she had. The first time it happened she was in her room and waiting for slumber to take her. But then her phone buzzed with a single-line text that unbuckled her resistance.
President suite. Room ___
She didn’t have Asami’s number before, yet there it was one day, sitting at the top of her contact list. She didn’t have another person’s name in her phone starting with the letter A. She imagined this pleasing Asami in some way. How she managed to put her number in Korra’s phone without her knowledge, she had no clue. But Korra didn’t question it nearly as long as many people would. As twisted as it sounded, she found it exciting. She told herself that it was because it meant Asami trusted her as an employee to have her number. But really, it just made it easier.
The second she received a text, she didn’t think. The reaction it stirred in her body already made up her mind. Before she knew it, she was back where she started, knocking on Asami’s hotel door. What followed after included bodies tangling in the sheets, her boss’s body draped across hers, a sheet of cold sweat dripping down her neck, and moaning at the way fingers brushed against that small, delicate bit of flesh that had her crying to the heavens.
After landing in Nagoya, Korra headed straight for the hotel to take a long nap before she went out and did some exploring. Her jetlag wasn’t too bad since they were coming from Nepal, so she and Zhu Li made the most of their 24-hour stop. They visited the local shops and a few tourist attractions, including LegoLand to satisfy Korra’s inner child. Aside from a few teasing comments, Zhu Li was on her best behavior and didn’t press Korra about her and Asami’s secret “rendezvous.” Now that Korra declared it was over, she hoped those conversations would cease completely after today.
They were staying at the luxurious Tower Hotel Nagoya for the next two days. Korra loved her room, the view of the cityscape below her, and most especially the 30 different jet settings in her shower. SatoAir had partnerships with a ton of high-maintenance hotels over the world. Anything not above a certain rating in terms of service, Asami did not bite, unsurprisingly.
After finishing her nightly rituals, Korra got into bed and watched television for a while. She was watching Dirty Dancing with Japanese subtitles turned on. Since Japan was one of their most frequent locations, she figured it’d be good to brush up on the language and learn more Kanji. She was already fluent in French, Russian, and Spanish. Learning another language didn’t sound so complicated.
Right now, Baby and Johnny were in the water practicing for the big lift at the end of the movie. The provided imagery of dripping bodies and confident fingers clenching a tiny waist led her mind elsewhere. She wondered what Asami looked like covered in water, hair drenched, droplets running down her neck—between her breasts, over her nipples, between her legs.
Wait, no! She wasn’t allowed to have those thoughts anymore!
She forced herself to remain focused on the movie until the final credits rolled. It was half-past one in the morning and she breathed a sigh of relief, proud of herself for not giving in and silencing her phone for the past hour and a half.
Though she still felt wide awake, she turned out the night light and put the television on mute. Laying back, she got comfortable against the pillows and attempted to subdue her unrest.
Her phone started buzzing.
She snapped her head toward the nightstand and watched her phone light up from its face-down position. She reached for it and then stopped herself. It couldn’t have been her, could it? She never called—only texted. And anyone else could wait until the morning.
With that resolve, she let the phone ring until it went to voicemail and closed her eyes once more. Just as she reached the point of relaxation, her hotel phone started ringing. Sighing, she looked to her left again and debated unplugging the stupid thing and turning off her cell, but curiosity outweighed caution.
She answered the phone with a soft hello.
“Oh good, you’re not dead,” Asami spoke clearly into the receiver, her ‘relief’ sounding more on the lines of apathy.
“Were you expecting someone else?”
“N-no. I’m just surprised. It’s the middle of the night.”
“Wonderful observation.” Asami released a sigh. Korra imagined her raking her fingers through her silky hair as she always did when annoyed by something. She could also hear papers rustling.
“You sound stressed,” she said.
“I am. And neither member of my flight cabin answering my calls or texts does not help.”
Korra bit her tongue and refrained from reminding her boss again that it was the middle of the night.
“I apologize. What can I do for you tonight?”
“There’s been an abrupt change to the schedule. We will be staying an extra day, and we’ll be headed out to Kumamoto for that silly week-long aviation conference. I will be bringing a couple of key speakers along with me as well. You should’ve received a list of food and drinks they’ve requested.”
“Oh…” Korra deflated. “Yes, I will look at it and will go out and get everything prepped.”
“You sound upset by this task.”
“It’s a little short notice,” Korra said under her breath. The speakers picked her voice up just fine, however.
“Are you saying you’re incapable of meeting my demands?”
“Of course not. It’s not a problem at all.”
“Good. Because I expect nothing short of palatable from you.” Asami’s voice became evasive, deepening just a little, but enough to make Korra squirm.
“Really?” she asked quietly.
“I’m not the kind of CEO to hire a person who shirks, and I would expect you to know that.”
“Yes, Ms. Sato.” Korra closed her eyes and bit her lip. Asami’s dark and husky tone had an instant effect on her, and she felt liquid magma forming in her gut. Her hand, which had been at rest on her stomach, lowered—fingers brushing against the smooth expanse of her revealed midriff. She rubbed her abdomen in a featherlight touch, her small tank top rising as she went higher and cupped her left breast. She let out a quiet sigh.
“You were so quick to answer your hotel phone, and you sound wide awake right now. Yet when I texted and called, you did not answer. Why is that?” Asami asked, and Korra froze for half a second.
“I, uh,” Korra struggled.
“Are you avoiding me?” Asami asked.
“No, in fact, I thought it was the other way around,” Korra said, a soft chuckle leaving her lips.
“Is making you come all over my seats your definition of avoidance?”
Korra’s breath hitched. Her center pulsating at the sudden drift in conversation. She squeezed her breast again and then lowered her hand. Her fingers wandered across the line of her panties and slowly slipped inside. Fuck. How was she still horny after today?
“I expect an answer when I ask a question,” Asami said.
“N-no, it’s not,” she stammered. She fought back a whimper when one of her fingers slipped inside her soft, wet folds.
“I thought so. You will do a good job for me in the next few days, won’t you?”
“Yes,” Korra sighed. And before she could stop to think about her next choice of words, she already blurted them out. “I can do anything for you, Ms. Sato.”
Silence followed her admission, and the pulsating she felt in her lower half met the one in her chest. What in the world had gotten into her? Was she possessed? She had to be because no way would she ever come across as so needy. Once again, her brain ceased to function properly. It all spilled out again until she was empty.
“You say ‘anything,’” Asami spoke in a quieter tone, “but do you mean it?”
Korra clenched around her fingers. “As long as it makes you happy, Ms. Sato.”
“You’re touching yourself, aren’t you?”
Korra removed her fingers, though her hand remained in her panties. She appeared guilty despite Asami not being in the room to notice.
“Being lied to is not something that interests me nor does it make me happy, Ms. Korra.”
Korra swallowed hard, the moisture between her folds seeping into the crease of her undergarments. Her fingers slipped inside again. “Yes, Ms. Sato.”
“Now I’ll ask you again. Are you touching yourself?”
“Because I like the sound of your voice.” Korra slid her panties (which were officially ruined) to the side and slipped two fingers in. This time, without abandon, she moaned into the phone. All the times she tried to masturbate these past few weeks she could never find reprieve. The touch was never right, which she already knew sounded silly. The limbs of which she grew couldn’t fulfill her in the way Asami’s had in this short time. A person who explored her body a handful of times knew every nick and cranny that drove Korra wild—things Korra never experienced before. It made sense that the power of Asami’s voice could also do the job.
“You like a whole lot more than that, don’t you?” Asami asked. Korra could picture her now, sitting down at the desk in her hotel room, one pen in hand and leaning back in her chair in achievement. “Which are you thinking about more: my mouth or my cock?”
Korra shuddered and curled her fingers. She choked on her words. “Your cock.”
“Because it’s nice and big and fills you just right, huh? It’s big enough to have you gagging with that rude mouth of yours. But you can handle it, can’t you?”
“Yes,” Korra panted. Asami left no room for teasing, and Korra couldn’t have handled it anyway. Her fingers sped up at their volition. She pictured Asami above her whispering those sinful things in her ear as she pushed in deep until she bottomed out.
“You’d better. That tight cunt of yours feels so good wrapped around me. You’re always so ready and willing, though. Sopping wet before I’m even inside. Tell me, are you close?”
“S-so close. Asami, I—” The sentence fell short and Korra moaned again.
“Mm. That’s it. Let me hear you beg for it. Wish I could see your face right now. It never gets old. You’re so beautiful when you come for me.”
Korra lost control as her hand moved at a speed lightning could not touch. The knot in her belly snapped, sending her through the physical release of both essence and uncensored words.
“Fuck! I’m coming! I want you inside… Asami!”
Korra cried out as she spilled onto her fingers, her panties, and the duvet. She convulsed and ground into herself. Once her orgasm faded, she fell flat against the bed in exhaustion. It took her a minute to catch her breath, and when she finally did, she realized the phone dropped from her hand. She felt around until she found it on the pillow.
“Ms. Sato?” she asked breathlessly. The silence that came after made her think her boss wasn’t there anymore.
Another few seconds passed before Asami’s voice came through.
“Inform Zhu Li about the change of plans and make sure you check that list.” The line went dead after that.
Korra blinked in confusion, staring at the ceiling in post-orgasmic dysphoria. What the hell?
The Tower Hotel Nagoya [10:14]
“I mean seriously, what the hell, Mako? The tenth inning after a nail-biting ninth and bases loaded all for you to choke? Am I talking to an alien right now?”
“I know, okay? Coach already chewed me out in front of everyone and threatened to bench me. Don’t make it worse.”
“It’s because I wasn’t there. I’m your lucky charm, after all.”
“Say that as many times as you need to, but you’re still banned from the stadium for the indefinite future.”
Korra pouted and shoved some eggs into her mouth. “I still think that’s a mistake," she said between her swallows.
“Umpire makes the rules. That staph infection didn’t clear up for weeks.”
“Just because I threw a foam finger and it landed in the same spot where his eye got infected doesn’t mean it was my fault. He’s too embarrassed to admit where it came from. Besides, it’s my duty as your friend to call that shit out.”
Through the face messaging app, Korra watched her best friend tilt his head downward and laugh. She smiled at the sight. She missed him. They didn’t get to see each other much with both of their careers involving a lot of travel. Mako was the number one pitcher for the Houston Astros, who were currently going through a slump fest. Though Mako at least put forth a valiant effort and that showed in his player stats... well, aside from today. She would watch the replays and highlights on YouTube whenever she got the chance.
“Now that we got my stuff outta the way, let’s talk about you,” Mako said, an underlying suggestiveness in his tone.
“I’m fine,” Korra said.
Mako smirked at her. “Just fine? You sound chipper. Does that mean your girlfriend didn’t sport her mean face today?”
“She’s not my girlfriend.” Korra skimmed the dining hall to make sure no one noticed that she almost choked on her breakfast. Luckily, she was far off in one corner of the room and no one could hear her.
“Fuck buddy boss then?”
“Ugh. I knew I should’ve never told you.”
“Relax, I’m messing with you. But for real, what’s going on with that anyway?”
“Nothing. It’s over. Never gonna happen again.”
“And when was the last time exactly?”
“It doesn’t matter. Besides, what would I look like making puppy dog eyes at some rich asshole?”
“Maybe she’s the one with the puppy dog eyes.”
Korra scoffed. “Please. She’s incapable of looking anything other than pissed off or disgusted.”
“Good to know I dodged a bullet then if that’s what your baby-making skills can inspire.”
“Fuck you. I’m amazing in bed. I’m more than amazing, I’m mindblowing.”
Mako laughed. “Hey, I’m not the one you need to convince. I’m being serious, though. From the way you make her sound, she’s not someone who seems very tolerant of a lot of people. Which makes sense when you’re the Tesla of airplane companies.”
“What’s your point?”
“My point is that the fact that you’ve held her attention this long means something. Not sure what exactly, but it does.”
“This isn’t some X-rated Hallmark film. Can we just drop it, please?”
“Fine, fine.” Mako held one hand up in surrender.
They talked for a while longer, and Korra listened to Mako tell more stories, this time about his brother’s crazy adventures out in the New Zealand wilderness to chase his latest girlfriend—some zoologist he swore he was going to marry. After hanging up, she went back to finishing her breakfast.
As much as she loved her dear friend, Mako could be so loud and so wrong about many things. He didn’t know Asami, didn’t know how she was far too distant and cold to hold any true interest in anyone for too long. She walked away from sex like a bored raven when the last remnants of skewered deer on the road offered little sustenance. Weird simile, she knew.
Except… There were those few minutes or seconds that passed when Korra was flat on her back trying to catch her breath and Asami would lie there too, head resting on Korra’s shoulder, a hand tracing patterns against Korra’s abdomen.
But—all too soon—it went away. Was Asami that ashamed of showing a little bit more of a softer side? Was she like some dude who believed emotions made her weak in the face of others in power like her? Korra guessed it would make sense since you needed to be hard to run a billion-dollar corporation like SatoAir.
She cursed, upset again for letting Mako plant those ideas in her head. She hadn’t heard from Asami since their call last night. It was to be expected, but since avoidance wasn’t working out so well for her, she thought about approaching the situation head-on. She would tell Asami that they needed to stop this face to face. Asami would wave her hand in dismissal, they’d go about their lives, and Korra could keep it strictly professional moving forward.
She would just talk to her. That was it. She’d be calm and gentle, and they could put this behind them.
The Tower Hotel Nagoya [20:53]
Asami never gave her the hotel room number, so Korra had to go down to the front desk and indiscreetly ask for it. To be honest, she found herself stalling all day, not quite ready to address this as eagerly as she did earlier in the day.
She had an inkling of déjà vu when she took in a deep breath before knocking on the door. Loud footsteps came from behind it, hurried as if someone was running, and then giggling. The door opened and a woman with ruby red hair stuck her head out of the door.
“Hi!” she chirped, and then looked behind Korra for some reason. “Are you room service?”
Korra, at a loss for words, stared at the tall, curvy woman. She must’ve been an actress or a model or both.
“Um—” Korra glanced at the number on the door and shook her head. “Sorry, I think I have the wrong… room.”
Her sentence trailed off awkwardly when the door opened wider. The redhead was wearing nothing but a skimpy white towel. Asami walked up behind her, wiping the bottom of her lip with her thumb. Her shirt was unbuttoned, and her bra was exposed. When she saw Korra standing there, her expression turned condescending, and she leaned against the door paneling with one arm.
“Ms. Korra. Did you need something?” she asked.
Korra didn’t know why her heart plummeted, or why she felt like crying. Didn’t know why when this should have been a good thing, she felt like she was being crushed underneath a semi-truck. But either way, it was a kind of sadness that made her want to disappear until the world rebooted.
“No,” she said and backed away, shaking her head. “It was a mistake. I don’t need anything from you. Have a nice night.”
Before she could see Asami’s expression to her response, she turned on her heel and walked away.
Satobus ACJ320 [08:02]
Korra checked out of the hotel the first thing in the morning and headed to the airport. She heard that Asami, or rather Ms. Sato, arranged a car to come pick both her and Zhu Li up, but she chose not to entertain it.
She remained unemotive as she went through her usual checklist of things, secured the trays of food and drinks she’d serve once they were in the air, and did some cleaning. Hard rock music played from her AirPods, blaring over any useless thoughts that threatened to invade. An hour later, she caught sight of Zhu Li stepping onto the plane. She waved her hands at Korra and motioned for her to remove her earpieces.
“Dude, what the hell? Do you not know how to pick up the damn phone? I was calling you and thought you missed your alarm or something.”
“Sorry,” Korra offered. She grabbed a dry cloth from the pocket of her cleaning bag and started wiping down a table.
Zhu Li rolled her eyes and shrugged. “Well whatever, I guess. I’m sort of being a hypocrite anyway. Sorry for going off the grid yesterday. I met this cute concierge and things got a little spicy.”
“Yup. No worries.”
“Okay, what’s wrong? You’re not being your typical nosy self and smothering me for details.”
“I’m fine,” Korra said flatly.
“Oh, let me guess. Is your little Sato detox not going as splendid as you hoped for?”
Korra clenched her jaw. “I said I’m fine. I’m just doing what’s expected of me. Nothing more; nothing less.”
She continued to wipe down the table even though it already looked as polished as the day it was installed.
Zhu Li ripped the cloth from her hands.
“Now look,” Zhu Li said, pointing at Korra’s face with the towel. “As captain of this flight, I demand to know what’s going on so I can ensure the safety of everyone. Now out with it or I’ll call for a replacement.”
“Go ahead. I’m sure Ms. Sato would love the fresh meat.”
“What do you mean?”
Korra sighed and grabbed the towel back. She didn’t want to talk about it, but as usual, she wore her heart on her sleeve. “I just don’t get her. She’s so callous and complicated and confusing.”
“She’s also a great source for practicing your alliteration,” Zhu Li pointed out.
“We should’ve never started this in the first place. She should’ve known better. And now I’m just another employee to add on to her list of fucked and used.”
“Oh no,” Zhu Li said, looking at her with a mix of realization and pity. “Don’t tell me you did the stupid thing and caught feelings?”
“No,” Korra shook her head in denial. “I don’t know who she is to have any feelings about it. But I don’t play games, and this was a bad idea from the start. So it’s done and I’m moving on.”
“Moving on? Like… quitting? I don’t think that’s ever happened before.”
“I’m not going to give her the satisfaction of thinking I’m too emotionally involved to do my job. Until she fires me, I’m staying right where I am.”
“I don’t think she’ll fire you.”
“She fires everyone.”
“Not everyone. Only the incompetent ones. But that’s not who you are and she knows it. That’s why you’re still here.”
“I don’t care. If her sick way of showing how much she ‘likes’ me is by not treating me like a person, then it’s shit.”
“Wow. She must’ve done a real number on you.” Zhu Li gave her an encouraging pat on the shoulder. “Good for you, though. I don’t think she’ll ever meet a flight attendant quite as feisty as you ever again, and that’s a compliment.”
She left Korra alone after that and headed to the cockpit. Korra finished everything she needed to get done just before 10 AM. When she heard voices and footsteps ascending the airstairs, she straightened her back and grabbed the cocktail she finished making before heading to the door to greet everyone. Three men flooded into the cabin, laughing up a storm and ignoring her greetings.
“Ms. Sato,” said Korra, staring straight ahead at the wall as she handed over the tall glass. She expected to be ignored by her as well, but then Asami stopped in front of her. Lingering there, she told the guests to have a seat and order a drink. Korra tried not to breathe in her sweet perfume. They were all dressed in business suits, but Asami looked the most dapper in her burgundy jacket and pants, a black button-up, and a waistcoat underneath that matched her outer suit. Korra didn’t realize that her eyes betrayed her until too late. She looked up from Asami’s suit and met her gaze. Korra noticed the way one corner of her tainted red lips twitched. Her gaze, however, was intense.
“My flight attendant will take excellent care of you all, won’t you, Ms. Korra?”
Korra swallowed once her name left Asami’s lips and she nodded, putting on a forced smile. “Of course, Ms. Sato.”
They were too close, she finally noticed. Taking a breath, she broke eye contact first and walked away from her stupid boss and her stupid delicious scent and her stupid bedazzling eyes.
She wanted to smack herself for being so upset in the first place. She got involved in Asami’s little agenda the first night she went up to that hotel room knowing exactly what she wanted from it. There was no exclusivity, no special treatment. Asami made no promises and Korra never expected any.
So then, if Korra knew all that… Why did she still feel so betrayed?
The jet took off 15 minutes later. Once they were in the air and Zhu Li turned off the seatbelt lights, Korra got up and put herself to work. She refilled drinks and asked if anyone needed anything else before she passed out lunch. The plane ride was only a little over an hour long, so why they needed a meal in the first place was a mystery to Korra. She wished she could put in her music again because the men were loud. They all sat in one corner of the plane at a table and passed the time playing poker and talking about the upcoming conference. Korra could only catch small bits at a time because every so often they’d switch to speaking in Japanese.
Asami’s voice sounded even lower when she responded quietly in the foreign language. Korra heard her speak it before, but there was something different in the way she spoke with men. Not that Korra was paying attention to her that much…
Korra brought the plates to the table and set everything in front of them. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught the man on her right side staring at her long and hard, eyes squinting.
“Do I know you from somewhere? You look familiar,” he said in a thick accent.
“I don’t know. Maybe I have one of those faces. Or I could’ve been on one of your past flights?”
The man snapped his fingers, and the hand motion was loud enough for everyone to turn their attention. “That’s it! You’re that girl from the video.” He shook the guy next to him as if he wasn’t already looking. “She’s from that video. The one where she sent our guy Keisuke flying.”
Korra froze at his recollection. Our guy?
“Oh yeah, I remember now,” the man beside him said, then said something else in Japanese to make the other two men laugh. He dropped his cards and leaned forward a bit, smiling at first until it turned into a sneer. “He’s really hitting rock bottom now thanks to you.”
The third guy, heavier set than the other two, spoke up. “I saw him in Tokyo a couple months back, passed out in a bar. I would be too if I let myself get bested by some girl.”
Korra felt sick. An unpleasant tension started in her gut and she bundled her hands at her sides to stop them from shaking.
“Zettai ni iya da, Sato-san,” the third guy looked at Asami in disapproval. “Though you did always have a crude sense of humor.” He pointed in Korra’s direction and uttered more words in Japanese, one of which was an insult Korra understood perfectly well. He regarded Korra for another moment and his lips turned up into a cruel smile. “Keisuke is a scrawny guy, but I’m not. I’d love to see you try to toss me around.”
Korra fixed her jaw and tilted her head up. “Why don’t you get your fat ass up then and I can show you what the clouds look like up close and personal?” She stepped toward him, and he got up, throwing his cards down on the table where they scattered. He only had a couple of inches on her.
“Yamero!” Asami slammed her hands down on the table and she stood up. Her head snapped in Korra’s direction. “You’re out of line,” she spoke coldly. “Go to the back and wait there until I’m ready to talk to you. Now.”
All three men made noises behind Asami’s back, the burly one taunting Korra with a mocking apologetic look.
Korra met Asami’s eyes again, glaring. Asami’s expression remained unchanged.
“Yes, Ms. Sato,” Korra said bitterly. Turning on her heel, she walked off, tears in her eyes when she heard the men laughing around the table. Maybe Asami was too.
She went into the room and slammed the door behind her without a care in the world anymore. So much for dignity. She planned on quitting the moment the jet landed.
Sitting down on the bed, she threw her stupid hat to the floor and put her head in her hands. God she was such an idiot! This job, Asami’s sudden “interest” in her… it was all too good to be true. She finally thought she got past that stupid incident, but it was thrown back in her face for some sinister game.
She seethed without pause, even when the door opened 15 minutes later and Asami walked in. Korra didn’t bother to look her way. She was too disgusted anyway.
“Guess the jig is up, right?” she asked. “How long have you been planning that one for?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Don’t act like you don’t know.”
“I’m not a mind reader. If you have an issue, I’d rather you voice it directly.”
“You’re one to talk,” Korra muttered.
“Would you care to speak up?” Asami challenged.
“You set me up,” Korra said instead, getting to her feet. “This whole time I’ve been a joke to you, I guess. Like the rest of the world. And you’ve gotten your fill and enjoyment out of it, clearly.”
“You think so little of me that you would believe such an egregious idea?” Asami’s eyes hardened, and she stepped closer.
“Maybe I wouldn’t have to believe it if you hadn’t left me out there to dry. You didn’t even defend me! Instead, you cast me away into this room like I’m a child.”
“You were acting like a child.”
Korra scoffed and wiped away her tears, pissed at herself for showing any weakness. “Fuck this.”
“There are ways to handle these situations, and you antagonizing those vermin with violence was not one of them. Unless you would like another lawsuit on your hands that would certainly put you at fault?” Asami reached into the inside of her jacket and pulled out a handkerchief. She offered it to Korra.
Korra narrowed her eyes at the piece of fabric and then Asami. She snatched it out of her boss’s hands and wiped her face.
“I’ve instructed Zhu Li to land the plane,” Asami said, and Korra’s head lifted. “Mr. Ito and his colleagues will have to find their way to the conference using their minimal resources. They will also never have the privilege of flying SatoAir again. As for you… all expenses will be paid for the next year whenever you fly with SatoAir, and I will add another full 24 hours to your PTO.”
As she spoke, Asami’s tone grew softer. Korra looked up from the cloth and saw an abnormal sincerity in her eyes. But as stubborn as a mule, she clutched onto her bitterness.
“In exchange for what? My silence on the matter?”
“You can do whatever you please. My guests usually know what is expected of them and what is not. I won’t have them undermine my authority or disrespect the members of my flight cabin.”
Korra sniffled and wiped her eyes again. “You didn’t know then? About them being friends with that guy?”
“I did not. But it doesn’t surprise me. The man you defended yourself against in that video was an exclusive flyer with us, like them, until I had him banned.”
“You made his sexual harassment public. That doesn’t mean it was the first time. And after I banned him, he and his heinous father fed some fake news about my company to the press. They’re both on the no-fly list with not only me but now several airline companies.”
“So… That’s the whole reason why you hired me? Revenge?” Korra asked. She hated how accusatory and hurt she sounded.
“I can’t deny that was part of the reason. But mostly, your strength and conviction to see that lawsuit through to the end despite the ridicule you faced impressed me. It was admirable.” Stepping forward, she took the handkerchief and raised it to Korra’s face, wiping away a few runny mascara spots on Korra’s cheek that she missed. “I apologize for that relived experience,” she said in a voice barely above a whisper.
After, she stepped back and folded the cloth before putting it back in the inside pocket of her jacket. She turned and started walking to the door.
“That’s it then?” Korra found herself saying. “You give an apology and some perks and go about your merry way?”
Asami paused, though she didn’t turn. “Is there anything else I can do for you, Korra?”
Korra spent a couple of seconds opening and closing her mouth with heated responses to that one loaded question on the tip of her tongue. But as quick as they came, it didn’t cover up that unexplained hurt or sense of entitlement.
“How can you be so cruel?” she genuinely asked. “One minute you’re acting like I’m a person without feelings and the next you’re showing me compassion.”
“What more can I do as your employer?”
“Will you cut the bullshit? This goes far beyond employee and employer, and you know it.”
“No, I don’t.” Asami finally turned and walked back up to Korra. “You are very much my employee in this situation and you have to be.”
“Oh, right. Because you’ve been so ethical in your past relations with employees, right?”
“Is that a threat?” Asami asked.
“If you went about it smart, you could sue me. I’d find you a fantastic lawyer with an 85 percent success rate.”
“No! That’s not what I want.”
“You don’t seem very clear about what you want with anything. Was it not you who said you didn’t need anything from me last night? I think I’m being pretty generous.”
“I wouldn’t have said that if you hadn’t…”
“Hadn’t what?” Asami stepped closer. She leered at Korra. “What is it that bothers you? The current situation or my sleeping arrangements?”
Korra’s eyes widened. She realized how she sounded—like some scorned lover looking for answers. But the truth was that she didn’t deserve any.
“Just forget it. Forget any of it happened at all.” She walked past Asami and headed for the door. At this rate, she’d rather be out there with those creeps than continue this conversation.
She went to open the door, but a hand shot out and slammed it shut again. Startled, Korra turned, and she found Asami right in front of her, arm still stretched out against the door, a look of agitation on her face. Their bodies were close in proximity, but it looked like Asami was making an effort to keep them from touching. Even that small detail annoyed Korra.
“Don’t you think I’ve tried?” Asami said. “I try every time to forget, saying it’s all meaningless. It always was. It worked every time before. I don’t want, I have. But with you… Why is it only with you that I…”
Korra’s heart thumped as she watched Asami struggle to finish her sentence until she finally gave up. She seemed as lost as Korra in their current entanglement, and that was where Korra saw the common ground.
“Ms. Sato,” she whispered. She took that one tiny step forward and allowed her body to brush against Asami’s leaner one. Reaching up, slow and unsure, she brushed Asami’s cheek with her hand. “Asami,” she whispered.
Asami pulled Korra to her and their lips met in record time. Korra gasped, struck by lightning when Asami’s hand fell to her hips and initiated as much contact as possible between them. Their mouths glided, and that slick smacking of their lips was a delicious sound to Korra’s ears.
“W-wait,” she said after they pulled apart after a minute, their breaths heavy and mingling. Korra tried to bring those rationalizations back to the forefront before losing them again. “That woman last night—”
“And what am I?” Korra questioned, pushing Asami back by her shoulders a little.
Asami stared at her, long and hard. She cupped Korra’s cheek and leaned forward. Their lips brushed as she spoke in that low, titillating tone of hers.
“You’re someone I can’t have enough of.”
Their lips came together again and parted. Asami’s tongue brushed against Korra’s and encouraged her to chase it back into her mouth, and Korra did. She clutched the front flaps of Asami’s jacket and forced their mouths open wider. Asami hummed in approval.
Korra couldn’t tell which way was right, left, up, or down—and used Asami as her pillar. She ended up gasping when she felt herself being hoisted up and backed against the door. Asami’s mouth stayed glued to hers, sucking Korra’s bottom lip between hers and biting. Korra moaned as Asami pushed her dress up and ground against her.
“Th-they’ll hear us,” Korra whispered.
“Soundproof,” answered Asami. She carried Korra over a few steps to the marble countertop and sat her down. Korra sighed when Asami’s lips fell to her neck and placed sporadic kisses there. At the same time, she unfastened the top buttons on her dress, only stopping to unbuckle the belt cinched around Korra’s waist. “If only it weren’t, though. Then they could hear how hard I make you come.”
Korra shivered. She willingly shrugged out of the dress and lifted her butt when Asami pulled the clothing down her legs. It slid to the ground along with her underwear. Korra reached behind her and unsnapped her bra, spitting curses when she felt resistance. She lifted her head when she heard a tiny chuckle. Asami placed one hand flat against the counter beside Korra’s thigh.
“Always so eager.” She used her other hand to undo the clip in Korra’s hair. Brown, messy tresses swiped against Korra’s shoulders and upper back. Asami brushed her fingers through it. Her eyes flashed in excitement. “Pretty girl.”
Korra flushed and breathed heavier as she watched Asami remove her jacket and shrug out of the waistcoat. Unlike Korra, she took her time and neatly placed her clothes out of the way on the long counter. She turned her attention back to Korra again and pulled her in for another long, breath-stealing kiss while wrapping Korra’s thighs around her waist.
“I’ll mess up your pants,” Korra said, moaning when Asami thrust into her again. She shuddered when Asami’s lips tickled the shell of her ear and she released a breathy laugh.
“You that wet for me already, baby?” she asked in Korra’s ear, biting the lobe. One of her hands slid inward between Korra’s thighs and rubbed. She inched higher until two of her fingers grazed Korra’s slit. “That’s just another thing I like about you. You always say what’s on your mind.”
Korra’s breath hitched and she leaned back on her hands when Asami inserted two fingers. They slipped in with ease, as if Asami spent all her life practicing—like muscle memory. She gripped Korra’s hair and forced her head to tilt, then in one swift motion undid Korra's neck scarf. Her lips latched onto Korra’s neck while her fingers pumped. Every three or four times she retreated, she would purposely brush against Korra’s clit, and Korra went crazy each time. She bit her lip and tried to hold in her moans, but she failed each time.
“Fuck me,” she whimpered. “Please, please fuck me.”
She heard a low growl from Asami’s throat and her stomach fluttered. Asami’s mouth covered one of her breasts and she pinched the other nipple between her two fingers. Her lips continued their journey southward and then her head came between Korra’s thighs. She wrapped one of Korra’s legs around her shoulder and Korra followed suit with the other.
Asami’s fingers continued to work in and out, speeding up twice as fast, and then she leaned forward. She gave some teasing licks but couldn’t resist burying her face into Korra’s pussy. Korra howled. She pushed one hand through Asami’s hair and raised the other above her on the curved ceiling.
Asami’s tongue swirled around the delicate flesh, flicking it and flattening against it every time Korra’s juices ran. She placed soft kisses and started whispering words in Japanese, and Korra became twice as wet.
Asami curled her fingers and Korra tightened around them. That was the only warning Korra could give before coming hard and loud, indecipherable noises leaving her as her stomach clenched and her walls fluttered. She jerked uncontrollably and kept her hand flat against the ceiling as she rode out her orgasm.
Asami became more gentle. She removed her fingers but continued to press kisses between Korra’s thighs and soaking lips. She didn’t stop until minutes later when Korra began to feel stirrings of arousal. Asami got up. She placed her hands on either side of Korra’s hips and Korra instinctively wrapped her legs around her boss’s waist. Asami’s eyes searched hers, that peculiar look in them once again. She cupped Korra’s face and whispered something, again, in Japanese.
“Anata wa tenshi desu.”
Korra turned scarlet. “Oh, uh, thanks?”
Asami leaned back, her brow lifting in surprise. There was also a hint of embarrassment there. “You understand Japanese?”
“Only a little,” Korra said. She started loosening Asami’s tie. “Not enough to understand much of what those assholes were saying.”
Asami grabbed her chin and forced her to raise it. “It doesn’t matter. None of it was true.”
Korra nodded and began unbuttoning the shirt. She lost sight of her main objective when Asami kissed her again. The taste of herself made her moan and tighten her thighs around Asami’s waist. This kiss felt so different from any other one they shared, but Korra couldn’t identify why. She got lost in Asami’s mouth, overcome by her devouring.
Asami picked her up by the back of her thighs and took her over to the bed. Again, she was gentle as she laid Korra down. Korra pushed herself onto her elbows and watched the CEO begin to strip. She found herself needing to watch every time. Asami was always so elegant, even when it came to getting naked. She removed her tie and finished where Korra left off with the buttons on her shirt.
Once she removed the last article of clothing, she set her clothes to the side and climbed on top of Korra. Korra licked her lips in anticipation, but Asami surprised her by simply brushing her cheek with the back of her hand.
“Tell me what you want,” she said. The look in her eyes caused flutters to both Korra’s chest and stomach.
“You,” she answered after giving it some thought. "Just you. Nothing else.”
Asami smiled a little, but she didn’t speak. She positioned herself, raising one of Korra’s legs and then throwing one of hers over Korra’s other thigh. She aligned their lower halves and then lowered herself until their pussies pressed together.
Korra moaned and grabbed Asami’s thigh, forcing her to grind down.
“You’re so wet, fuck!” Asami shouted and threw her head back. She rocked against Korra harder and fondled one of her breasts. Her grip tightened when their vulvas slid against each others just right. They both moaned at the same time, their juices mixing and creating a beautiful, erotic aroma in the air.
“Mm, Asami. You feel so good,” Korra told her. Another loud moan left her boss’s mouth.
Asami gripped Korra’s hand that was on her hip and sped up, the wet smacking of their cunts loud as they sucked each other back in after pulling apart like thick magnets. They both cried out their mutual pleasures and screamed each other’s names.
“Korra!” Asami’s panting became so loud and frantic that her following words weren’t as polished. But in hearing her name, Korra growled. She leaned up on one elbow and clutched the back of Asami’s neck, pulling her into a kiss, though it was difficult due to their feverish pace. Asami shoved her back down again and continued to gyrate until her movements became uncontrollable.
Korra could feel her pulsating, the way she fluttered against her, how she got wetter and wetter. Asami came seconds after, convulsing and crying out Korra’s name—passionate, weak, and adoring. All of those factors had Korra following her soon after. Her back and head came off the pillow as stars exploded behind her eyelids, all of which framed the beautiful woman above her when she could open them again.
After they finished, Asami let go of Korra’s leg and fell on top of her. Korra listened to her labored breathing, felt her heart thumping as if it were trying to get out. Their bodies glistened in sweat and each other’s fluids, but the glow of their postcoital was immaculate.
They were now floating between the blissful uncaringness of their coupling and reality. Korra didn’t care for the latter. She closed her eyes and sighed when she felt that familiar sensation of Asami’s light touch tracing her abdomen. The first few times it happened when they finished, Korra thought she was dreaming. But she was thankful to learn she’d been mistaken.
She loved the intoxicating smell of Asami’s expensive perfume hidden underneath the musk. And it turned her to mush when she heard Asami sigh in content as well.
Like always, Asami began to stir after five minutes, prepared to gather her bearings. This time, Korra stopped her. She kept a firm grip around Asami’s waist and turned them both on their sides so they were facing each other.
“What are you doing?” Asami asked, giving Korra a look of annoyance. Korra knew now that it held no weight. At least, this one didn’t.
“Stay for a little while,” she said.
“The plane will land soon. We need to be in our seats.”
“Zhu Li will give a ten-minute warning.”
“I’m very aware of the protocols on my plane.”
In a tender action, Korra swept Asami’s bangs from her face. “This is something else that I want,” she whispered.
Asami deflated, her expression softening. She raised herself over Korra again and placed her head down on Korra’s chest.
“I never took you as the manipulative type,” she said.
“Oh, shut up before I really do sue you.”
Against her shoulder, Korra felt a small chuckle, and she smiled. They kept quiet, and though Korra didn’t want to break the silence, she knew she’d kick herself for not asking later.
“What does this mean?”
Asami stopped drawing patterns, probably hadn’t realized she was doing it. She shifted, but Korra held on to her. Asami sighed against her again.
“No one’s ever asked me that before,” she admitted. “And I’ve never entertained that question even to myself.”
Zhu Li’s voice came over the intercom informing them of their upcoming landing.
Asami pulled herself out of Korra’s arms with some reluctance and sat up.
“Asami,” Korra started.
Her boss looked over at her and paused, contemplating something. Leaning down, she pressed one final kiss on Korra’s lips, a lingering one that could start fires.
She pulled away, though she kept her hand on Korra’s cheek. Korra gave her an imploring look.
“Don’t call me Ms. Sato anymore,” Asami said. After, she got up and started putting on her clothes.
Korra watched, eyes a little wide from that small order. It could’ve meant nothing, but a huge part of her knew it did.
She smiled and got up from the bed herself when Zhu Li announced they were five minutes away.
Wherever they went from here didn’t matter. She found her way through icy walls and pricking thorns. Now, no matter what, she knew Asami could never forget her name.
Chapter 3: Washington, DC
[08:45] SatoAir Headquarters, Seattle, WA
Korra twiddled her thumbs. She sat in a stiff chair and watched papers shuffle between nimble, steady fingers. Her supervisor remained silent, making small noises whenever she read something that interested her. Korra couldn’t tell what to make out of those sounds and grew anxious. Lin Beifong wasn’t the easiest person to read, though it didn’t help that it seemed her face was permanently fixed into a scowl.
“Well,” Lin spoke after five grueling minutes passed. “It appears that your performance for these first three months with Ms. Sato has been satisfactory.”
A grin spread across Korra’s face. “Really?”
“Mhm. You’ve received high marks from other staff, including the pilot.”
“What about A—Ms. Sato?”
Lin took a moment to search for a paper. She squinted through her glasses and read aloud.
“Her only note is that ‘Ms. Korra shows adequate capabilities in making my travels comfortable.’”
“That’s it?” Korra asked, her smile deflating.
Lin removed her glasses and looked up.
“Considering that you’re the first person to stay in this position for longer than a month and she’s bothered to remember your name, let alone give a positive comment, I wouldn’t be too particular about her choice of words.”
“Right, of course,” Korra said, shaking her head and letting out a nervous laugh.
“And how about you?” Lin asked.
“This isn’t just an evaluation from them. How would you describe your experience overall?”
“Oh, um…” Korra struggled, taken off guard by the question. “Pleasant?”
“Really?” Lin raised a brow, folded her arms, and sat back in her chair. “Even with someone as finicky as Ms. Sato?”
“W-well, I mean, she’s certainly demanding and hard to please.”
“Yet somehow you’ve managed to meet both of those needs,” Lin said. “Care to share your secret?”
Korra’s palms began to sweat, and her heart raced. “I guess she finally got tired of having a revolving door?” she said.
Lin, now busy signing off on a few documents, didn’t notice Korra’s slight change in demeanor. “Having some stability is nice.” She looked up from the pages and folded her fingers together. She stared at Korra for a long moment, and Korra shifted in her chair. “Can I ask you a question?”
“Sure,” Korra stammered out.
“Have you started thinking about where you’ll go from here in terms of career advancement?”
Korra blinked in confusion. “I haven’t been in this position very long.”
“No, you haven’t. But you have essentially reached the highest level someone of your ranking can reach. And if you stay in this position for more than a year, that’ll be a highlight on your resume. It would easily push you to the very top.”
“By the top, you mean… a purser?” Korra asked. When Lin nodded, her eyes practically bulged out. “Seriously?”
“In theory. So long as you don’t find yourself in any more scandals or dismissed within good reason, then you’re in good shape,” Lin said, in somewhat of a sarcastic tone.
“Right, of course not,” Korra said, looking down. It would’ve been the easiest advice to take for someone who wasn’t her.
The Hickory Pub, Houston, Texas [22:12]
Korra loved visiting Houston whenever she could. Call her a simpleton, but she could go the rest of her life eating baby back ribs and drinking craft beer.
She listened to a local band playing in the large pub and tapped her foot along to the rock music pouring out of the string instruments. The male singer had a nice voice, rasp and colorful.
“I’ve missed this,” she said to Mako, who sat close enough that she didn’t have to scream.
“Should I ask Shady Shin to sneak us into the back for old time's sake?” Mako asked, wrapping his arm around her.
“Nah, it’ll probably trigger his memory and he’ll remember that I owe him three-hundred dollars.”
“He’s Shady Shin of all people. You know what he’s good for.” Korra put her thumb and index finger to her mouth and sucked in air. Mako caught the drift.
“Shin’s got a shitty memory. Besides, you’ve been gone for a bazillion years, so that lowers the chances of him remembering even further.”
“Don’t exaggerate. I haven’t been gone that long.” As she spoke, she started doing the math.
“You’ve been with SatoAir for, what, eight months now?”
Korra nursed her beer. “Something like that.”
“And you’ve been working under the Ice Queen for just a little while?”
“Don’t word it like that. Also, don’t call her that.”
“Well, aren’t you quick to come to her defense all of a sudden? I guess that answers my question of if that messy entanglement is still going on.”
“It’s not an ‘entanglement’ and I’m not going to talk about it, so don’t even bother trying to bait me.”
“So, then, what would you call it? Shacking up? Snogging? Dating?”
“What would you call what you were doing on the mound yesterday? Because it certainly wasn’t pitching.”
“Hey! Low blow,” Mako said, bumping into her shoulder. “It was a slow start, I’ll admit. But I really kicked it into full gear in the latter half.”
“You did, only because your lucky charm was there this time,” Korra said, pointing to herself.
Mako rolled his eyes. “Oh, here we go...”
Korra laughed. “It was good to finally see you again in person. About time that old man retired.”
“Just do me a favor and don’t go crazy on the new umpire. It took enough out of me to convince the coach to let you come to the stadium without having to pay admission.”
“I’ll be on my very best behavior from now on.” Korra drew a halo over her head.
The band finished their set by midnight and a new one began to set up. Korra looked down at her watch.
“It’s getting late,” she said.
“What do you mean? The best band hasn’t even started yet.”
“I have a flight to catch at noon tomorrow. And Asa—Ms. Sato is very particular about what things need to be done before we take off.”
Mako smirked. “Ah yes, we’d hate it if she was at any point disappointed.”
Korra narrowed her eyes and got up. “Come on. I need a ride back to my hotel.”
“Remind me again why you’re staying at a hotel when you could’ve just crashed at my place?” Mako asked, giving a suggestive look that Korra ignored.
“It’s easier and it’s close to the airport,” Korra said.
“Or it’s closer to a certain heiress’s presidential suite?”
“Makooo,” Korra whined.
Her best friend chuckled and got up. “Fine, fine. I’ll leave it alone.”
“Thank you,” Korra said, sighing.
“Just answer this one thing,” Mako said.
“Ugh!” Korra rolled her eyes and started walking. With Mako’s long legs, he kept up with her easily. “What?”
Mako grabbed her by the shoulder as they approached the exit door. They could hear each other better in that spot. Mako had a serious look on his face and Korra held her breath as she anticipated his question.
“You know what you’re doing, right? I mean, you have to know that things with her couldn’t ever be serious.”
Korra swallowed hard and nodded. “Of course. I’m not an idiot.”
“Because you know you deserve someone way better and an actual relationship… Right?” Mako asked.
Korra nodded again, but she struggled to meet his eyes. “Yes, I suppose.”
“Korra…” Mako started, not at all satisfied with that answer.
“We should get going. Traffic and all that,” Korra mumbled, walking out of the exit. She kept her head low, trying not to let it fill with erogenous thoughts that would inevitably be crushed because of the harsh truths Mako laid out.
The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston, Houston, TX [10:16]
Egyptian cotton sheets were becoming the only thing Korra could get a proper night’s rest on. They were kind to her body, didn’t itch or stick. She only needed to get comfortable for just a few minutes before drifting off.
When she awoke the next morning, she opened her eyes and stared into the satin pillowcase she buried her face into. It was bright outside, probably a little after ten.
“Shit!” she surged up and scrambled to get out of bed.
“There’s no need for theatrics.”
Korra’s head snapped to her right, and she saw Asami sitting there at a coffee table near the balcony windows. She had a cup of tea in hand while looking at an issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Her eyes never lifted, and she casually flipped to the next page.
“I… I thought,” Korra started.
Asami already knew her question. “I’ve delayed the flight until later this afternoon. My meeting in Washington D.C. was pushed until tomorrow, so there was no point. Besides, with you so indisposed from your late-night activities, you would’ve been useless to me this morning. There’s breakfast if you care for it.” She finished off her explanation by doing another meticulous flip of a page.
Her conservative tone and how she transitioned from one topic to another gave Korra pause to decipher those words. Recalling the night before, she ducked her head in embarrassment. She blamed Mako. He was supposed to drop her off at the hotel, but instead, he roped Korra into having a few more drinks at the hotel bar. He made sure that she got back to her room afterward, but once he left, Korra had other ideas in mind rather than sleep.
She moved to get up, but then looked down at her nude chest. Looking around, she noticed a silk white robe hanging on the pillar on her side of the bed. After grabbing it and putting it on, she went over to the table and sat down in front of a covered tray across from Asami.
Korra breathed in at the sight of her boss. Raven hair fell loose from its typical slicked-back ponytail. Asami wore a sleeveless red turtleneck with a leather pencil skirt that stopped just above the knee. Her smooth legs crossed under the table, and she sat with her back as straight as an arrow. Even in such quiet and non-scrutinized moments as this, Asami always looked so polished.
Flashes from the night before made Korra’s heart skip a beat. It was hazy, but she recalled Asami opening her door, the small smirk appearing as she eyed Korra up and down, the way her bottom lip folded inward as she sunk her teeth into it. Korra was on her in seconds.
After taking a moment to breathe, Korra uncovered her tray. Underneath revealed a breakfast burrito, hash browns, and a bowl of fruit. She had to make sure she didn’t drool. As she ate, she would occasionally glance up at Asami, who would only pause from her reading to sip her tea. While this wasn’t necessarily out of the usual after their typical rendezvous, something about this felt different than the other times. The peacefulness of the morning, the way the steam from their tea swirled into the air from their cups, the crackling noise of the pages whenever Asami turned them. She realized, then, the nostalgia of being at the table with her parents in the early mornings before school started. She’d mainly listen to their playful and tender conversations along with the affection they showed to each other as well as to her. An ache in her chest started, which she at first concluded as homesickness, but then she considered her current situation.
She’d already asked Asami before what this was and what it meant, and the answer she received gave her little to no confirmation. Since then, she hadn’t asked again. But maybe she should? Because if Lin was serious about her taking the next step in her career, then that was worth questioning the seriousness of her and Asami’s “relationship.” Was Asami just bored? Was she even looking for anything that resembled the word ‘relationship?' How long would it be before she inevitably grew sick of Korra?
When she glanced up for the hundredth time, she looked at Asami, who was scanning the top of a page. Then her eyes raised and met Korra’s. She lifted a brow as if waiting for Korra to say something. And Korra, not well savvy in playing things off, decided to make small conversation. She cleared her throat and wiped her mouth to give herself time to think of what to say rather than admitting to the thoughts that plagued her.
“So, how long will we be in D.C.?” she asked.
“Just a few days. There are some minor engagements I must attend. Which reminds me, someone will be joining us on the flight there. A business partner if you can call her that.”
“You don’t leave me too convinced,” Korra said, bemused at Asami’s indifference.
“I’ve told her to be on her best behavior, so no incidences should occur.”
“Right,” Korra said. Though, hearing that made her think about her meeting with Lin. “You know, the other day I had my three-month review since coming on to work with you directly.”
“Yes, I’m aware.” Asami put the magazine to the side finally and showed Korra her undivided attention. Her stellar, intense stare brought forth another wave of embarrassment for Korra as she remembered a similar expression from the night before, her face between Korra’s legs, eyes flicking up as she stuck out her tongue and licked—
“Right,” Korra said, her voice an octave higher than normal. “She mentioned that given how well I’ve been doing I could potentially see myself headed toward a senior level position, such as working as a purser for an airline.”
“Is that something you’re interested in?” Asami asked, her expression blank and unmoving.
“It’s an advancement,” Korra answered carefully.
“And where would you want to pursue a career as a purser?” Asami asked.
Korra paused. How should she answer that? If she said SatoAir that would sound like she was looking for a favor from her supposed boss. And then considering their current relations, would Asami see that as Korra being too clingy?
“I wouldn’t rule out a lot of the private airlines,” she ended up saying.
Asami didn’t immediately respond, however she fixated her look elsewhere. She wasn’t looking at anything, but Korra didn’t know what made her more nervous: not having Asami’s eyes on her, or the opposite.
“I’ll talk to a couple of executives I know and see if any spots are opening in the near future. If so, I’ll let them know of your interest,” Asami said.
Korra’s mouth opened in surprise, taken aback by Asami’s offer. In the near future? Did Asami think she meant she wanted to leave now?
The hotel phone shrilled, disrupting their conversation. Asami scooted out from the table and got up.
“I assume that’s the concierge calling to tell me that my 11 a.m. is waiting down in the lobby. It’s not a long meeting, but I have other obligations before our flight later.” Asami answered the phone, said a few short words, and then hung up.
“Oh,” Korra said. She watched Asami pull on her pointed high heel pumps. “Should I go then?”
“It’s a meeting off-site. Stay for as long as you’d like.” Asami headed to the door.
“Asami,” Korra called out. She watched her boss stop, then turn.
“Yes, Miss Korra?” she asked.
Korra lost her nerve. Shaking her head, she said, “It’s nothing. I’ll see you later.”
Asami looked at her a moment longer as if she now wanted to say something. Instead, she gave a nod and walked out of the room. A few seconds later, Korra heard the front door open and close.
With a sigh, Korra got up from the table, leaving the rest of her breakfast untouched. She flopped back down on the bed onto her back and raised an arm over her face.
What just happened? Asami didn’t even hesitate when she asked Korra about taking on a new role elsewhere, which Korra had no plans of doing anytime soon. Asami just threw it into Korra’s lap and didn’t question it at all.
Her heart plummeted to her stomach as it seemed that her recent thoughts now appeared factual. Even if it was what Korra wanted initially, Asami didn’t fight in any way for Korra to stay.
Swallowing, Korra blinked a couple of times. She inhaled sharply, only to take in a huge whiff of Asami’s scent all over the comforter. Annoyed, she sat up.
Whatever. She knew where they stood now and that was all that mattered. They would have to carry on until Asami found her a new job placement, and then that would be the end of them permanently.
Satojet ELITE 5000 [17:30]
Korra pushed her sunglasses up her face as she walked up the stairs of the jet. She hoped she didn’t look as tired as she felt. As she entered, she heard voices — one Zhu Li’s and the other unfamiliar.
After putting away her things, she headed up to the cockpit. Zhu Li sat there at the controls checking a few things while responding to a woman bent over by the waist, one hand on the dashboard and the other on the back of Zhu Li’s chair. The unknown woman turned her head in Korra’s direction, staring for a moment and then straightening her posture.
“I’m guessing you’re the flight attendant of the week?” the woman said, placing her hands behind her back. Her posture read military, but her outfit screamed account executive. Or business leader.
“Something like that,” Korra said.
Zhu Li looked over and saw Korra standing there. “Hey, there you are!” She stood up and walked around the woman who didn’t bother to move, continuing to stare at Korra. Zhu Li looked behind Korra expectantly and then grew confused. “Are you alone? Or is her royal highness in tow?”
Korra cleared her throat. “I wouldn’t know. You’ll have to look at her schedule or call one of the drivers.”
“Oh… all right.”
“Zhu Li, when you’re done floundering about, I would appreciate a proper introduction,” the nameless woman said.
“I was getting to it,” Zhu Li said, rolling her eyes. “Korra, this is Kuvira, she’ll be joining us on our trip. She sits as the secretary on the SatoAir Board of Directors.”
Kuvira stuck out her hand and Korra took it.
“Nice to meet you,” Korra said.
“The pleasure is mine,” Kuvira said. She had one of those smiles that could be mistaken as conspiring or with hidden meaning.
They released their hold on each other and Korra stepped back.
“Well, if either of you needs anything before we leave, let me know,” she said. Turning, she walked out of the cockpit. She didn’t have much to do aside from tidying up around the cabin and making Asami’s drink before take-off.
As she was finishing polishing off some glasses, she heard footsteps approaching and looked over to find Kuvira walking into the cabin. She surveyed the room, hands behind her back like an inspector.
Finally, she looked at Korra. “I’ll take a whisky, neat,” she said.
Korra nodded and pulled a glass from a cabinet. She could feel Kuvira’s eyes on her the entire time she worked and became self-conscious because of it. Was it possible that every single person Asami did business with had intimidating stature?
She finished pouring the drink and walked over to Kuvira, who was still glancing around. When Korra handed over the glass, Kuvira looked down at it, then up at Korra. Reaching forward, she grabbed it. Their fingers grazed.
“Thank you,” Kuvira said and took her first sip. Korra nodded and was prepared to turn away, but then Kuvira spoke again. “She’d better not take too much longer. I’m on a tight schedule.”
“Ms. Sato is very punctual,” Korra said assuredly.
“Yes, that’s how it always is with Sourcrout, isn’t it?”
Korra’s brow lifted and she tried to keep the laughter out of her voice. “Do you know Ms. Sato well?”
“Quite. We go back since boarding school. She’s always been sort of a character. Even in your week here I’m sure you know that. Unless you’ve been living under a rock.”
“I’ve been working with her directly for over three months now.”
“Oh really?” Kuvira looked genuinely surprised. “That’s a first.”
“So I’ve heard.”
Kuvira took another sip, a longer one this time, and eyed Korra up and down as she did.
“And how would you rate your experience so far? You’re still in mint condition considering you constantly face the threat of being scorched by a woman who breathes fire.”
Korra chuckled at the dryness in which Kuvira spoke her sarcasm.
“I actually keep an asbestos suit handy at all times.”
A corner of Kuvira’s mouth twitched. “She must find you very special to keep around.”
Korra scoffed, though she didn’t mean to, then doubled down by saying. “Doubt it.”
“You don’t think so? Why?” Kuvira stepped closer.
Korra became tense. She shouldn’t have entertained this conversation to begin with. It wasn’t professional at all. Plus, if this was one of Asami’s trusted advisors, it would all get back to her.
“No reason.” She shrugged it off and tried to change the subject. “Which boarding school did you guys go to?” she asked and went to clean off a table that she’d already thoroughly wiped.
“Le Rosey in Switzerland. Very prestigious if you can’t tell by the name.” Kuvira’s footsteps treaded closer, and Korra turned around. She sharply inhaled at the proximity of their faces. Kuvira either didn’t notice or didn’t care. She took another sip. “So what brings a woman like you into a job like this?”
“Pure luck. Plus I’m that weird person who actually likes to please strangers.”
“So you’re a giver. Good to know.”
A rush of heat swelled in Korra’s cheeks. She knew flirting when she heard it, and this woman was being shameless about it.
Footsteps were coming up the ramp, closing in on the entrance. When Korra turned, her stomach fluttered, and she got that familiar excited feeling at the sight of Asami. Until she remembered their conversation from this morning.
Asami still had her sunglasses on. And telling from the thin line that her lips formed, she didn’t look in the best of moods.
“You’re right on time,” Kuvira spoke first when a few seconds of silence went by. She still stood just a couple of feet away from Korra and didn’t pull back. Asami eyed them both.
“I’m always on time,” she said flatly and rolled her suitcase in. Korra immediately walked over and grabbed it from her.
“I’ve got it, Ms. Sato,” she spoke quietly, looking up. She could see Asami eyeing her through her dark shades. She looked even more irritated but didn’t speak and walked away from her.
“I can’t even get a hello?” Kuvira asked when Asami strolled by her.
“I need my drink first,” Asami said as she removed her jacket.
“Am I really so unbearable that you have to imbibe yourself every time, Sourcrout?”
“How many times have I told you not to call me that?” Asami said in an icy tone.
Kuvira smirked. A thick moment of tension passed between the two, each doing their best to stare the other down. It broke only after Korra walked over with a glass of Moscato and one of Asami’s favorite business magazines.
“Neck pillow?” she asked her boss.
Asami shook her head and finally glanced up at Korra. That look of irritation momentarily disappeared when their eyes locked.
“Aren’t you two just a wonderfully oiled machine?” Kuvira said, forcing Korra to look away. Kuvira looked between them both and then focused on Asami. “It was certainly surprising to learn that Korra has been with you for longer than a week. I guess you’ve found someone to cater to all your specific needs?”
Asami didn’t flinch or look concerned at all about Kuvira’s inquiries. However, she didn’t answer the question at all.
“We have a meeting to prep for. Let’s not waste time on pointless conversations.”
The flight took off ten minutes later. Asami indeed wasted no time in entertaining no other conversations unrelated to business. Korra couldn’t help but listen in on everything they were saying (the jet was only so big). They spoke to each other with professionalism, though they seemed to disagree on a lot of things. And while Kuvira kept her composure the entire time, Korra found Asami’s demeanor very incongruent with the person she’d come to know. Her foot would tap with impatience, and she would release irritated sighs when the subject went on for longer than she wanted.
Their “prep” meeting lasted the whole time they were in the air until they were just 30 minutes away from the airport. But when Korra came by to collect trash and take away their dishes, she heard Kuvira discussing something with Asami that had Asami shaking her head.
“I will not be in attendance,” she said firmly, a tone she used to end conversations. Kuvira wasn’t intimidated.
“It’s important. The Washington State House dinner isn’t something you just say no to. The President of the United States and his foreign policy leaders will be there. If you make a good enough impression that might just mean exclusivity with SatoAir.”
“I’m saying no,” Asami said. Her glare sent shivers down Korra’s spine.
“As your advisor, I highly suggest you attend for the sake of good appearances. Your father would’ve wanted—”
“Do not speak on my father or what he would’ve wanted,” Asami snapped. At that moment, despite not knowing why Asami reacted so sharply to Kuvira’s insistence, Korra stepped forward, wanting to reach out and touch Asami’s shoulder—offer her support or comfort. But she restrained herself.
“All right then,” Kuvira said with little emotion attached to her voice. “I will go and hold up appearances for the both of us. Though that does beg the question.” Kuvira looked away, and just so happened to meet Korra’s eyes. She brought her hands on the armrest and folded her fingers together. “I suppose since you’re a private flight attendant your schedule is pretty light for tomorrow night?” she asked.
“Um, I suppose?” Korra said and looked to Asami for confirmation, but she noticed that one of Asami’s hands was gripping onto her armrest tightly.
“Would you do me the pleasure of accompanying me?” Kuvira asked.
“Wha-me?” Korra sputtered in astonishment. “To the Washington State House Dinner?” she asked as if she hadn’t heard correctly. Kuvira simply nodded. “I couldn’t possibly—”
“But you’re not opposed?” Kuvira questioned, tilting her head to the side.
“Well, I guess no, but—”
“Then I don’t see the problem. Unless there is one?” Kuvira looked between both Asami and Korra.
Korra looked to Asami again, but Asami refused to glance her way or give her the time of day. And maybe it was that that finally put Korra over the edge. Not having her boss’s attention anymore, not having that reach she thought she had.
“There’s no problem at all. I appreciate the opportunity,” Korra said, speaking with confidence.
“You’ll enjoy it. I’ll make sure of it,” Kuvira said. That conspiring smile pulled across her face again.
“I don’t have anything to wear,” Korra said after thinking about it.
“Then we’ll just have to do something about that, won’t we?” Kuvira said, a glint in her eye.
For the rest of the flight Kuvira talked to Korra about the event and they arranged a time to meet the next morning. When the plane landed, Asami was the first to get off the flight, not offering a single word or look as she left.
Four Seasons Hotel, Washington, DC [09:30]
The following morning, Korra walked outside and found a black SUV waiting for her. She opened the door and got into the back where Kuvira waited. Kuvira instructed the driver where to go, and soon enough they were driving through the metropolitan area.
Korra sat there, hands in her lap, and looking out the window as they passed by the National Gallery of Art.
“Have you come here often?” Kuvira asked, making conversation.
“Not much, no,” Korra replied. She turned to Kuvira. “At least not long enough to explore.”
“I’m sure working for just one person gives you a lot more time than you’re used to.”
“Yes, definitely.” Korra looked back out the window. She breathed a quiet sigh as she thought about Asami and what she might be up to right now. The last time Korra saw her was yesterday as she deboarded, and since then she hadn’t heard a word, nor did she receive any calls or texts that left room for an invitation. Then again, hadn’t she already come to terms with the fact that it was over? She needed to get used to it now that Asami was actively searching for the next person who so much as raised their hand and said they would take Korra off her hands.
“Is something troubling you?” Kuvira asked, snapping Korra out of it. It surprised her to hear Kuvira sound so curious after growing so used to her dryness toward almost every single person apart from her.
Korra shook her head. “No, not at all.”
They arrived at the CityCenterDC and Kuvira selected a handful of dress shops for them to visit. Korra, not knowing much about couture or high fashion, just went along with it. They’d been to two stores already, and the people who would assist them seemed to know of Kuvira’s importance and therefore were extra attentive. They selected a handful of “suitable” dresses they thought would look appealing on Korra. But each one Korra tried on seemed too fancy or practically immovable in. Kuvira saw how uncomfortable she looked, and she also didn’t seem all that impressed with the selections either.
They went to a smaller dress shop which was by appointment only. The store clerk took Korra by the hand and put her in front of a mirror.
“What kind of look are you going for, dear?” she asked.
“Err.” Korra glanced to her right in the mirror and caught Kuvira’s eyes. The older woman was sitting on a couch with a magazine in hand. Her eyes roamed Korra’s figure momentarily.
“It’s a formal event, so it should be classy. Though, don’t be afraid to be a little risqué. She deserves to be gawked at.”
Korra blushed and looked away.
“I understand,” the clerk said with a knowing smile and backed away from Korra. “Give me just a moment. I may have a few that would be suited perfectly for you.”
The clerk left the two of them there in the dressing room. Korra looked at herself in the mirror again. She appeared plain in her simple white t-shirt and loose-fitted jeans. Compared to Kuvira’s version of “casual” (a green button-up, some slacks, and a pair of $1,500 Louis Vuitton shoes), Korra may as well have rolled out of bed and not even bothered.
“Can I ask you a question?” she asked, still not looking Kuvira’s way.
“I’m unaware of a moment in the past 24 hours where I’ve made you ever feel like you couldn’t.”
“Right,” Korra said and took a deep breath. “It’s just… Why did you ask me to come with you? I’m only a flight attendant.”
“No one is ever ‘only’ anything. The question is why you see yourself that way.”
“I… I don’t know.” Korra sighed.
“I highly doubt Sato would employ someone with such low self-esteem. She doesn’t have the patience for that.”
“Does she have the patience for anything?” Korra asked. It came out snappish, which made her instantly regret speaking at all. It was hard to verbalize what she wanted to say without revealing the true nature of her relationship with Asami. But how couldn’t she begin to doubt herself? Asami told her a while ago what “interested” her in someone like Korra, but could Korra believe that after what recently transpired? And now, with Kuvira showing her clear advances, Korra had to wonder what other people saw in her that she didn’t.
Kuvira, with one brow raised, put the magazine to the side.
“Did I hit a nerve by mistake,” she asked.
“No, it’s not that.” Korra pinched the bridge of her nose, frustrated with herself. Finally, she turned to Kuvira. “I don’t know what she wants from me,” she admitted.
“You can’t please someone who will never see anything as perfect,” Kuvira said.
“You wouldn’t understand,” Korra said under her breath and looked away. She was tired of people making factual claims about Asami when they never saw the other side of her. The one that Korra saw. But was that side even real? As she thought a moment ago, Asami wasn’t exactly trustworthy.
“I wouldn’t?” Kuvira challenged and crossed one leg over the other. “I’ve known her for a while now. Nothing you’re saying right now isn’t new information or things I haven’t asked myself.”
“So then what answers have you come up with?” Korra asked.
“If you’re looking for me to tell someone else’s whole life story, I’m afraid you’ve got the wrong person,” Kuvira said. “Besides, why would I give her the advantage?”
Kuvira, tilting her head to the side, looked at Korra simply. “Of having your sympathy.”
Korra scoffed. “Rest assured, she doesn’t want my sympathy.”
“Are you sure about that? Because I have reason to believe Sourcrout isn’t exactly thrilled about you coming out with me tonight.”
The store clerk came back with two dresses in hand. A black sequined one that flared out at the bottom, and a midnight blue one with thin lace at the bust and slits up both the sides. Korra took the latter in her hands and went into the stall nearby to change into it, if only to just get away from Kuvira for a moment to collect herself. Even if Asami wasn’t happy about Korra’s plans tonight, she didn’t express any of that to Korra at all. She expressed quite the opposite in her actions, and that was all Korra needed to know that this wouldn’t work.
When she came out in the dress, the store clerk clapped in approval and her eyes grew in astonishment.
“Absolutely gorgeous! Come, come! Let’s get a better look.”
Korra stepped on a podium and looked at herself in the mirror. Forget gorgeous. She looked hot! The dress fit her frame and hugged her curves as if it was meant for her. Peeking over at Kuvira in the mirror, Korra saw the hungry look in her eyes. She swallowed hard, ignoring the tingles that spread in her groin, and turned her attention back to herself in the mirror. Though she showed more cleavage than what some conservatives would call classy, she didn’t care in the slightest. At least she would have people’s undivided attention, which was more than she could say about Asami.
Four Seasons Hotel, Washington, DC [13:30]
After finding the right shoes (a simple pair of black heels), Korra took up Kuvira’s offer of lunch at an expensive restaurant that had her questioning whether the prices were the order numbers. The driver dropped her back off at the hotel afterward, and Kuvira said she would pick Korra up later that night.
As she walked by the front desk, she stopped and, after a moment of debate, walked up to the person sitting there.
“I’m Ms. Sato’s private flight attendant,” she explained. “I was wondering if you could disclose her whereabouts? I have proof if you need it.”
“I’m sorry, ma’am. I was given strict orders to not give Ms. Sato’s hotel room number to anyone, including her staff.”
“Oh, I see… Thanks anyway.” Korra walked away, clutching the dress tighter to her chest. She didn’t have to question why Asami gave such strict orders. That just made her angry all over again. Luckily enough, she had this event tonight to keep her distracted.
After decompressing for a while in her hotel alone, she decided she would get ready in Zhu Li’s room instead. She showed up at her friend’s door three hours before Kuvira was set to arrive again. Zhu Li opened the door, and to Korra’s shock, had a pair of rollers in her head, her makeup already done. What surprised her even more was the first words to come out of Zhu Li’s mouth.
“I’m gonna kick your ass.”
“Whoa! What are you talking about? And what are you getting ready for?”
“Our lovely boss is without a date for this event she’s supposed to attend tonight. And since you’ve already found yourself a date, she’s asked me to come with her.”
“She asked you?” Korra’s eyes widened, mouth hung open in utter shock and disappointment. “She said she didn’t want to go! And you mean to tell me you agreed to this?”
“It’s not my fault she ambushed me at the last minute! She already looked irritated and that would’ve made my life a living hell. So, of course, I said yes. Besides, you’re the one going to this thing with her archnemesis.”
“They are business partners, so they can’t be enemies, first off. And secondly, I shouldn’t have to think about every single thing I choose to do in my personal life that may or may not irritate her. It’s not like we’re dating or anything.”
“Korra, I say this with love: you never struck me as the foolish type.”
“How am I the foolish one? You know exactly how she is. She doesn’t make it easy for anyone to know what’s going on inside her head.”
“Yet that didn’t stop you from keeping whatever this thing is going on between you two, did it?” Zhu Li said, then she sighed.
“Look, I’m sorry, okay? She really didn’t seem interested in going at all.”
“That’s because she wasn’t.” Zhu Li shook her head and turned. “Well, whatever. It can’t be helped. I just hope for your sake that if this is how you choose to end things, it doesn’t come back to bite you.”
Korra sighed and followed Zhu Li inside. “Me too.”
They got ready, and by the time Korra was satisfied with the way her look turned out, it was time to go downstairs and meet Kuvira. It just so happened that Zhu Li was also expected downstairs at the same time. When they exited the elevator and entered the lobby, they turned a corner. Kuvira stood near the entrance, leaning against the wall as she texted. She looked different with her hair down, and undoubtedly very attractive.
Korra smoothed her dress over her abdomen as she approached and relaxed her shoulders. Kuvira looked up and, for a moment, just looked Korra up and down.
“I didn’t keep you waiting, did I?” Korra asked.
“No, I just arrived. You look even better than before.”
“Thanks,” Korra said with a polite smile. She glanced over at Zhu Li in time to see her make a face. “Should we get going?”
“There’s been a change of plans actually,” Kuvira said, and she looked over Korra’s shoulder.
Curious, Korra glanced behind her as well and then did a double-take. Asami was turning the corner Korra had just come from. She wore a two-piece suit, her blazer open at the chest and belted at the waist and no shirt underneath. Korra, realizing she was staring for too long, swallowed and looked away.
“What’s happening?” Zhu Li asked, an answer Korra would also like to know.
“Since Asami decided to attend the event as well, she thought it would be best for us to all ride together,” Kuvira said, sounding slightly annoyed.
“You’re all ready to go, I assume?” Asami asked, fixing her sleeve. She looked at each person individually, her gaze lingering on Korra the longest. After, she looked away and headed toward the front entrance without looking back. “The limo’s waiting,” she said over the sound of her clicking heels.
“Well geez, wait up,” Zhu Li said, picking up her dress and practically running after Asami and her long strides.
“Shall we?” Kuvira asked, placing a hand against the small of Korra’s back.
Korra nodded and tried to smile. They made their way outside to the limo, and Korra couldn’t keep her eyes off Asami’s back, the swish of her hair curled and neatly pinned back on one side of her head. And it dawned on her that the only time she’d ever seen it down was when she let it free while they were alone. Was she reading too much into it, or was this a clear message aimed at Korra? Whether it was or wasn’t, Korra still felt a stabbing in her chest.
The ride over to the venue wasn’t long, though it felt like it. Kuvira kept it the most civil, going over a couple of stakeholders Asami would want to talk to before the night ended. Zhu Li kept giving Korra nervous and questioning looks every time they locked eyes from where they sat. Korra turned her face to the window instead. As the building came into Korra’s line of vision, she felt a tap on her thigh and looked over at Kuvira.
“I have something for you,” she said, digging into her pocket.
“Oh?” Korra asked. The car went noticeably quiet, and eyes fell on them as Kuvira pulled out a round diamond necklace. Across from her, Korra heard Zhu Li gasp.
“Would you wear this for me tonight?” Kuvira asked, holding the necklace out for Korra. “It’s sort of my lucky charm.”
Korra’s eyes widened, but she didn’t dare look Asami’s way.
“But if it’s your lucky charm, shouldn’t you wear it?” she tried to buy herself time.
“That’s not how this charm works. I need the person I’m with to wear it. It brings me the most luck.”
“Oh. W-well,” Korra glanced over at Zhu Li who appeared equally dumbfounded. And when she spared a glimpse at Asami, her boss still sat perfectly straight and stone-faced with a glass of whisky in her hand. Perfectly unbothered by the looks of it. “If you insist, I guess,” Korra decided.
After being instructed to turn around, Korra faced the partition, away from everyone else. She felt Kuvira scoot in close behind her and then she told Korra to push her hair up. The necklace came around her and Korra felt Kuvira’s fingers on the back of her neck as she clasped the necklace closed.
“This way you’ll look even more unforgettable,” Kuvira spoke in her ear, though Korra was sure everyone heard it.
The driver stopped at the curb a moment later and everyone got out. As Korra scooted her way to the open door, she glanced down at the table where Asami soundly set her drink. One side of the glass had a long crack going up the side of it.
The White House, Washington, DC [17:30]
It was a party Korra had never seen before with special circus acts, food in every corner, and wine glasses constantly being replaced with newly filled ones even if guests hadn’t finished their last. Lights filtered into the room in blues and purples and reds. The people, as Korra gathered, were pompous assholes, but she could drown that out by the bites of the amazing food she chewed. They had a special table in the center of the room near some politicians and diplomats, a few of whom already flew with SatoAir exclusively. Korra noticed how quickly everyone turned to Asami if she so much as uttered a word. She was beginning to wonder if she underestimated just how powerful Asami was.
It wasn’t until Kuvira announced Korra as her date that Korra fully grasped the deep level of mess she put herself in. The dialogue between Asami and Kuvira turned more curt, frank, and a bit painful to listen to at times. Then Asami ended up leaving the table and going her own way, presumably to meet with the people Kuvira told her about earlier. Korra watched her walk away until she disappeared into the crowd.
Zhu Li, sitting beside her, stifled a yawn.
“This quickly became boring,” she said to Korra quietly in her ear.
“When was it ever fun?” Korra asked.
“When you were sitting in the center of an all-out war between two premier topping masters.
Korra glanced Kuvira’s way and saw that she was engaged in a flat conversation with a political figure.
“It wasn’t that bad,” she whispered to Zhu Li.
“Of course it was. With that necklace, you’ve opened up a new can of worms—”
“It doesn’t mean anything,” Korra said. She cautiously reached up and played with the necklace.
“To you maybe.”
Korra heard her name and she looked over her shoulder. Kuvira walked toward her with two glasses of wine in her hands. She passed one to Korra and then placed her hand on the small of her back.
“There are some people I’d like to introduce you to,” Kuvira said.
“Do you need your good luck charm close by?” Korra asked with a nervous laugh.
“No, but maybe it could work for you.”
“Asami told me you were looking into a higher-level position, and there are a few stakeholders here from private airlines.”
“Oh…” Korra deflated a little.
“If you make nice with them, I’m sure you’ll have quite a few airlines to pick from by the end of the night.”
“That’s amazing,” Korra said, offering a fake smile.
Korra let herself be led over to a table of executives. They were eccentric and possibly tipsy as they all introduced themselves, shook Korra’s hand, and complimented her on her dress.
“Lin Beifong always knows how to recruit the right ones, doesn’t she?” one woman said, eyeing Korra appreciatively, to which others agreed.
“She has her work cut out for her, that’s for sure, especially to find someone to appease Ms. Sato’s demands. Isn’t that right, Asami?” Kuvira said, turning her head in Asami’s direction. Korra hadn’t realized that she’d been sitting there the entire time. Their eyes met briefly, and noticing the scowl on Asami’s face, Korra looked away, her heart turning into heavy, cold stone at that look being directed at her. How could Asami’s disdain for her grow so rapidly in such a short amount of time? Korra swallowed back the rock emerging up from her chest and turned her head forward.
“Could we possibly add another chair?” Kuvira asked, looking around at the table.
“I was just leaving,” the woman on Asami’s right said. She got up from her chair and pulled it out for Korra to sit down.
Sucking her teeth, Korra politely thanked the woman and sat down. Kuvira pushed the chair in for her and then went to her chair on the opposite side of Asami and sat down as well. Was it too unbelievable to consider that Asami had planned this somehow? That she wanted to torture Korra and find any way she could to humiliate and ridicule her in front of all these people?
She kept her hands in her lap, and when a waiter stopped by and asked her if she wanted a drink, she requested a gin and tonic. She needed something strong that would keep her from wanting to drink in the glorious and alluring scent of the woman beside her. Asami took small sips of her soup and her drink. And every time she put her spoon or glass down, her arm would brush against Korra's in the slightest, most memorizing touch. Korra shifted in her chair each time it happened. She distracted herself by making conversation with the woman at her right who complimented her when she arrived at the table.
“How old are you? You look so young!” The woman said.
“I’m 28,” Korra said.
“Wow. And you’ve already made such an impression. Tell me, how is it working with that one behind the scenes?” she pointed to Asami in an obvious manner. “I bet she keeps you on your toes at all times.”
“It’s unpredictable,” Korra said. She looked down at her untouched food, hands still appropriately placed in her lap. Then she sighed and said, “but I’m grateful for the opportunity. Ms. Sato is unlike anyone else I’ve ever had the pleasure of working for.”
The woman smiled and nodded before taking a few bites of her food. Korra fell quiet after that. She didn’t know what provoked so much honesty out of her at that moment. It could’ve just been that showing animosity or blasé wasn’t suited for her. Her mother always said she was easy to anger but too kindhearted to keep that same level of animosity. And the truth was, it exhausted her too much to make a show out of her feelings, especially when they weren’t returned.
Sighing, she finally decided to have a taste of the oh-so-delicious soup everyone kept raving about. But then the hand on her knee stopped her. She paused, thinking it’d just been her imagination, but when she took a glance down, Asami’s hand undoubtedly found its way into her lap.
Korra didn’t move, too dumbstruck to believe this was happening right now. Asami didn’t look her way either. She still held her neutral expression as she listened to someone at the table announcing his grudge against the current stock market. And throughout that one-sided conversation, Asami’s hand slid higher until it reached the top of Korra’s thigh and squeezed.
If Korra was breathing, she had a hard time believing the oxygen went anywhere near her lungs. Her head felt heavy and caused sudden dizziness. She looked around the table, seeing if anyone noticed Asami’s discreet leisure. But all attention seemed to be on the guy rambling, their faces bewildered but also amused. Even Kuvira, who looked even more disinterested than Asami had her head turned away.
Korra reached for her glass of wine and drank from it, but that didn’t help the unexplained dryness in the back of her throat that hadn’t been there before. Asami’s hand remained in that spot, and she began a small, gentle caress. Though she wore a long dress, Korra unintentionally spread her knees and had to keep from gasping at the way Asami’s hand came underneath the slit of her dress and in-between her thighs. Okay, so she was breathing, she realized. A lot harder than before, too. She gripped her spoon harder than necessary as Asami’s fingers slipped past the thin material of Korra’s thong and entered her pussy. Korra rubbed her lips together and then bit hard on her bottom one as a quiet whimper left her.
She felt Asami lean into her a bit, and then she whispered so quietly that Korra barely heard it. “What do you say. Should I make you come right now? You would love that, wouldn’t you?”
Korra bit her lip harder and squirmed, which only pushed Asami’s fingers in deeper. Fuck! It felt so good! But she needed more. Maybe they could slip out and go somewhere private? There had to be rooms around here, right? No one would even notice they were gone and—wait, what the fuck was she thinking?
“Are you okay, dear?” the older woman on her right asked. “You’re looking a little overheated.”
A couple of eyes fell on Korra, including Kuvira’s. She looked between both her and Asami and frowned.
Korra stammered as she gathered her bearings. “Ye-yes, I’m fine. I just need some air, I think.”
After giving an apology, she fixed her dress and got up from the table. Her legs couldn’t move fast enough to get her away. From behind her, she heard Asami say something at the table and abruptly get up as well. Quickly, she looked around for Zhu Li, trying to see if she could at least get her friend to talk some sense into her, but she seemed preoccupied at the bar with several people all giving her their undivided attention.
The minute Korra exited the main hall, she picked up the pace of her fast walk. She heard the door opening behind her and another pair of heels clacking, the strides much longer and more powerful. She turned a corner, desperate to get away, but she knew she wasn’t even close to reaching an elevator.
She saw a door on her left that led to the staircase and beelined for that, however, the footsteps closed in behind her just as she walked through the door. The next thing she knew she was being thrown up against a wall, (or maybe the door?). She only caught a glimpse of Asami’s face before her face descended onto hers, lips forcing Korra’s mouth apart, tongues grazing, and hands groping Korra’s chest.
Korra almost lost herself in it, but then a moment of introspection was all she needed to push the other woman away hard.
“The fuck is your problem?” Korra asked with a yell. “First you ignore me the entire night, then you’re finger-fucking me underneath the table in front of everyone, and now this? Am I a joke to you?”
“And what about you?” Asami asked. “Don't act like you’re innocent in all of this after everything you've done.”
“Everything I’ve done?” Korra gave an incredulous look. “All I did was my best to meet your abnormal standards. But I guess no one can. You can’t wait to get rid of me, can you? And just when I thought—” Korra looked away and stomped her foot in protest. She didn't want to have this conversation, knowing how it would turn out.
“Was it not you who asked me for this? If an employee wants to leave—”
“I never said I wanted to leave! In fact, it was quite the opposite until yesterday. How am I supposed to know what to think about any of this when you play hot and cold all of the damn time? I see one side of you that nobody else sees, and yet still I feel like I’m outside this forbidden door that you refuse to open.”
“How poetic,” Asami said, her eyes rolling to the side. “You think I haven't heard that all before? You think you’re the only one to try to know me?” She stepped closer, putting herself against Korra’s body and her hand on the door. “Make no mistake, Miss Korra. Whatever side you see of me, I assure you is in my control.”
“So, this is all about control now? Or maybe that’s all it’s ever been?” Korra gripped Asami’s jacket and pulled her in closer. Her breathing intensified as her anger became more uncontrollable. “You hide away behind your status, but at the end of the day, you’re lonely. That's why you want me. To fill some selfish unlocked side of you that scares you to death. And maybe you're somebody who can live like that, but that’s sad to me. So how about I uncomplicate it for both of us? I can find other people. I’m very capable of that. Hell, maybe Kuvira is out there right now waiting for me. At least she wouldn’t bullshit me around and show me a real good time—”
Again, Asami kissed her. But her control wavered underneath Korra’s fingers as she gripped her face, her hair, and pulled her in closer from the back of her neck. Then, for the first time, Korra heard a sound leave Asami's mouth the more she gained control. It was a low, soft whimper. One of desperate need. To give up control, to lose control, or a battle of both?
Korra held the sides of Asami’s hips and began to pull at the loose belt from its buckle. Asami stopped her by the hand.
“No,” Asami said, finding her voice. “Not here.”
Korra fell into a daze. She barely registered Asami pulling out her phone, calling the driver, or being taken by the hand and led out of the building. Time didn’t make sense.
The limo pulled up to the same entrance as before and Asami opened the door for Korra to get in first. She ordered the driver to take them back to the hotel and then made him roll the partition back up. When she turned back to Korra, she didn’t do anything, simply eyed Korra in the same manner Korra did with her. There was a short distance between them, and Asami put her arm up along the back of the seats. The warmth emanating from her body invited Korra in, and Korra resisted those few seconds it took her to assess Asami’s expression, but then she reached out and stroked her soft, pale cheek, outlining her jaw with her fingers and traveling down to her neck, resting on her exposed chest underneath her jacket. Then suddenly she was on Asami again. The slits in her dress made it easy for her to straddle her boss’s lap and hover above her.
She gripped the edges of the seat on either side of Asami’s head as they kissed and moaned when she felt Asami’s hands creep back under her dress and resume her previous ministrations. This time, when her fingers entered, Korra was soaking and ready for her. She cried out as Asami pushed in until she had two fingers knuckle deep in her cunt. She gripped Korra’s hip with her other hand and then pulled away from the kiss to come alongside Korra’s ear and whisper to her.
“I have half the mind to stop after the way you’ve behaved,” she said. There was a hint of anger in her tone that made Korra clench around her slippery digits.
“N-no,” she groaned and hugged Asami close to her body. “Don’t stop,” she panted and started rocking her hips to create more friction. As she did this, she felt Asami smirk against her cheek.
“Only if you say please.”
“Please,” Korra begged. She hated herself for it.
Asami removed her hand from Korra’s hip and pushed it through her hair, loosening the clip from it and tugging her hair free before pulling it tightly. Korra shivered when a growl left her boss’s lips as she eyed the necklace still around her neck. Asami quickly removed it and threw it somewhere on the ground of the limo.
“Don’t you ever forget again that I’m the only one who can fuck you like this,” she said after gripping Korra’s hair again. And with each word she said, she thrust harder, speeding up until her hand became a blur. “You’re fucking mine. Do you hear me? Mine.”
Korra’s mouth hung open as several cries and incoherent words left her mouth. Her clit pulsated and her walls fluttered as she succumbed to her release, coming all over Asami’s fingers and onto the seat. She fell into a slump against Asami and groaned when Asami pulled her fingers out. She put her clean hand against Korra’s back and rubbed soothingly, however the words that came out of her mouth next made Korra’s eyes widen, and she became fully awake again.
“Don’t think for a second I’m letting you off that easy.”
The limo parked in front of their hotel and despite her legs feeling like spaghetti, Korra got out and walked by herself, because like hell she would let Asami carry her. The limo driver deserved a raise for how stone-faced he remained as they both exited his car.
The journey up to Asami’s room was an interesting one. Korra tapped her foot in impatience as they waited for the elevator, and Asami pressed the buttons a little harder than necessary. Others joined them on the elevator as well, and Asami pulled Korra in closer by the waist. Korra inhaled sharply, realizing that this was the first time Asami ever touched her in such a deliberate, territorial way with others around. It could’ve meant nothing, but Korra wanted to believe otherwise.
When they arrived at their floor, Asami kept her hand on the small of Korra’s back. She guided them to her room toward the end of the hall, keeping an even pace. There was less urgency now from Asami, though the eagerness did not diminish. She was just better at hiding it than Korra. Though, to be perfectly honest with herself, Korra wasn’t trying to hide it to begin with.
She waited by the door for Asami to pull out her key and wave it in front of the key reader, but then devious thoughts didn’t keep her still for long. Coming behind Asami, she slid her arms around her boss and pressed kisses against her neck. Asami paused in her search, and Korra swore she heard the taller woman sigh. A minute later, the door opened and Asami turned, grabbing Korra by the arm and pulling her inside.
Korra stumbled out of her shoes, and that was as far as she got before Asami pushed her against the door in the hall and resumed their heated kiss. When Asami pulled away this time, her breaths were slightly uneven, though the rest of her looked as neat as possible. That wouldn’t do.
Korra reached up and began to unbuckle Asami’s belt, but then Asami grabbed her wrist and stopped her. Korra looked up in confusion.
“Go to the bedroom and take everything off,” Asami instructed in that ever-so commanding tone of hers. She backed away from Korra a few steps to give her space to leave.
Korra kept her back against the wall, tilting her head back to rest against it. She watched Asami as she continued to stand there in an act of defiance. Then she reached up and slid the strap of one side of her dress down, followed by the other. That was enough for the dress to fall in a pool around her ankles. Reaching behind herself, she unfastened her bra and let it fall to the ground as well, all while continuing to meet Asami’s fiery gaze. And since she was being as bold as ever, she reached forward and grasped Asami’s belt again. This time, Asami didn’t stop her from loosening it and then unbuttoning the lower half of the jacket. Korra pushed it off Asami’s shoulders and then pressed her hands against Asami’s flat stomach and forced her to step back. How they didn’t trip over the articles of clothing, Korra didn’t know, but she had Asami put up against the opposite wall now.
“If you want to stop me, now is your chance,” Korra whispered against Asami’s mouth. She waited five seconds, and when Asami still didn’t move, her excitement grew. She latched onto Asami’s neck with her mouth and slid her hands up, cupping Asami’s breasts and fondling them. Low noises left Asami’s mouth, encouraging Korra even further. She traveled lower, pressing small kisses against Asami’s navel while unbuttoning Asami’s pants and sliding them down. When she hooked Asami’s leg over her shoulder and pressed her tongue against the slit of Asami’s sex, Korra knew she would break her fast.
Asami’s hand flew into Korra’s hair, and her moans resounded in the small entryway, Korra achieved greater heights. Asami’s sweet taste exploded into her mouth and Korra used her thumbs to push her lips further apart and reveal the hidden gem beneath Asami’s hood. Korra mouthed it, tongued it, and gave harsh sucks that pushed Asami to her breaking point. She moaned loudly as she burst into Korra’s mouth. Her juices flowed from her pulsating center and into Korra’s mouth, some of it rolling down her chin.
Korra stood up a minute later and wiped her mouth. Asami stared at her like she was the divine glitch.
“Where was it you wanted me then? The bedroom?” Korra asked. She turned and headed in that direction, removing her thong in the process. Glancing over her shoulder, she gave Asami an inviting look the farther away she got. Asami stood there in the hall, one hand clutching the front of her hair. With the flex of her jaw, she followed Korra’s footsteps in long strides and then loudly closed the door behind them when they got to the room.
Four Seasons Hotel, Washington, DC [07:23]
When Korra opened her eyes the next morning, she didn’t dare allow herself to move. She felt the soft kisses on her shoulder that stirred her from slumber, melted into the arms that enveloped her in a strong and tender hold. Those kisses continued down the spine of her back and up again. Korra couldn’t repress her shiver.
“Hn. So you’re awake then?” Asami asked.
Korra initially wanted to pretend she was still asleep. But she was wise enough not to play those mind games.
Turning around, she faced Asami. Her boss kept one hand on her waist while the other propped her head up.
“Kuvira called. She caught an early morning flight and won’t be needing our services.”
“Oh.” Korra frowned and looked away for a moment. “Did she sound upset?”
Asami chuckled. “I made my intentions last night very clear to her. It should not have come as a shock to her to see you leaving with me. I’ll be sure to send her lucky charm back since I know how sentimental it is for her.” She said the latter sentence with a hint of sarcasm.
“How do you do that?” Korra asked. “How do you just know things will go your way all the time?”
“I don’t know. All I know is what I want. I won’t let anyone or anything stop me.”
“You and Kuvira seem to have that in common,” Korra said pointedly.
“It’s easy to share a lot in common with someone who always wants the same things that you want, whether they really like them or not.”
“Are you saying Kuvira wasn’t actually interested in me?”
“I’m saying that I’m good at finding the treasure and she’s good at reaping the benefits.”
“Am I really all that valuable to you?” Korra asked. It slipped out of her mouth faster than she gave herself time to think. She couldn’t bring herself to look Asami’s way and closed her eyes when she heard Asami release a sigh.
“So even after all of this, you still don’t understand?” Asami asked.
When Korra looked up, she saw Asami staring down at the sheets, an unreadable expression on her face.
“What do you mean?” Korra asked. Asami shook her head and pushed the sheets off her, preparing to get up. Korra stopped her. “Would you just hold on for a second?” Korra said, growing a little impatient. “You tell me you’re not a mind reader, but neither am I. I’m out of my depth here—”
“So am I!” Asami yelled, startling Korra. “Do you truly believe any of this was my intention from the start? It was never meant to go on like this. You were supposed to be like everyone else, and you’re not.”
“Then what am I!?” Korra asked, yelling back. “It’s been very clear that I’m not what you intended. And why would I be? I’m just some flight attendant after all whose name pops up in internet searches if you need a good laugh. Do you think I’m not constantly doubting whether this is real or just some fun for you? Well, guess what? I am! But what’s even sadder is the pit in my stomach that I get whenever I so much as think of you discarding me like everyone else. So, again, I ask: What am I to you?”
She was on her knees now, holding the sheet up to cover herself, though it didn’t hide the quick rise and fall of her shoulders after having that outburst.
Asami went dead silent, not speaking until well over a minute went by.
“I know what you want me to say,” she said. “I’m well aware of what most people in your position would want from me, but I’m not capable of it. I never have been.”
Korra swallowed hard and looked away, the pangs of rejection smacking her in the chest already.
“But…” Asami continued, and Korra forced herself to meet her gaze once more. “It’s becoming incredibly difficult to watch you be with anyone else. I’ve never…yearned to have someone in my bed for so many days and nights. But with you… I can’t have enough of them.”
Korra’s heart pounded hard against her chest. The simultaneous flutter in her belly set her ablaze. Her mouth opened to form words, but she found none. She was too speechless.
Asami hadn’t looked her way since she began her speech, but Korra could see the color on her pale cheeks. It was so uncharacteristic, so beautifully human.
“I don’t want to be made a fool out of anymore,” Korra said. Was this a mistake?
“Understood,” Asami said, nodding while not looking at her.
“And I don’t want to be transferred to a new airline. I’d… like to stay with SatoAir.” With you… God, this definitely was a mistake.
“I understand,” Asami said.
Korra scooted closer, her thigh brushing up against Asami’s. “And just one more thing…”
“What is it?” Asami looked up at her, not annoyed in the slightest. She almost seemed eager.
“No more ‘Miss Korra…’ Just Korra is fine.”
Asami nodded. “All right then… Korra.”
Korra bit her lip and looked down.
“That wasn’t really the last thing you wanted, was it?” Asami asked. Blushing, Korra kept her eyes down on the sheets bundled around her chest. She felt a shift in the bed and then two of Asami’s hands came under her chin, lifting it. “Tell me what it is. I think it’s pretty obvious now that there’s nothing I wouldn’t deny you, Korra.”
Again, Korra’s stomach fluttered, desire clouding over her eyes. “Are you sure about that?”
Asami, seeming to realize the meaning behind Korra’s words, cleared her throat and looked away.
“Never mind, forget it,” Korra said quickly. She got too cocky; too greedy.
“It’s not that I’m opposed,” Asami said, easing some of Korra’s tension. “However, I think that’s taking a big leap. I wouldn’t be comfortable.”
“Okay, no worries, I get it.” Korra wanted to smother herself with a pillow. Anything to end this awkward conversation.
Asami cupped her cheek and gently turned Korra’s face toward her.
“I can only make so many changes overnight… All I ask is that you give me time,” she said.
Korra stared at her longingly, a growing ball of compassion expanding in her chest that she couldn’t ignore. Again, this was probably a mistake, and there could’ve been a thousand years of pain waiting for her on the other side of this. Was Asami really worth the risk?
“Okay,” Korra whispered.