The first thing Jessica noticed upon opening her eyes was the hint of rosemary, among other condiments in the air. That and the unmistakable aroma of coffee. It was strange. The smell was too strong to be coming from the kitchen. It seemed to be closer…like right here in her room; in fact, it seemed to be coming from just behind her.
Yuri’s handsome grin was always a welcome sight. It made her smile but what really made her get up was the tray of food between them.
“Breakfast in bed? What did I do to deserve this luxury?” Jessica asked in jest.
Yuri raised a brow. “You don’t remember?”
The question made her frown. “What don’t I remember?”
“Woah, you really forgot.”
Irritation was beginning to creep up on Jessica. “What did I forget?”
Yuri’s cheeky smirk stretched across her face. “Happy Birthday, you idiot.”
It took Jessica a while to get it; her mind wasn’t fully out of sleep mode yet. Then she gasped. “Oh, it’s my birthday.”
“Yes, it is.” Yuri leaned forward and Jessica leaned too, by instinct, and parted her lips to receive a serious, soul-sucking kiss from Yuri.
Jessica couldn’t keep the smile off her face after that and excitement began to bubble over as she knew from previous years that Yuri would go all out to celebrate her birthday. “Kiss me again,” she demanded and was given what she wanted. When the kiss finally ended, she was ready for the day to get started. Yuri picked up a piece of toast and held it to her mouth but she leaned away. “I need to wash up first.”
“You don’t need to keep up appearances with me, baby.”
“You know me.”
“I don’t get why you would insist on washing up first when you tell me it’s okay to hug you when I’m all dirty and greasy after work.”
Jessica stopped and turned, amused by Yuri’s comparison. “Do you seriously want to kiss me when I have morning breath and rheum?”
“Rooemm? What’s that?”
Swiping her finger at the corner of her eye, she held up the gooey substance to Yuri. “This.”
“Oh.” Yuri shrugged. “But everyone wakes up with it. I don’t care if you have eye snot and morning breath just like you don’t mind hugging me when I’m oily and greasy.”
“Sometimes I really don’t know how your logic works, Kwon Yuri,” Jessica said with a smile, “but you’re adorable and I love your logic. But I don’t like eating breakfast with snot in my eyes so just give me a minute, okay?”
Yuri pouted but nodded. “Okay. But be quick. The toast won’t be nice if it isn’t warm.”
Jessica winked. “I’ll be really quick.
True to her word, Jessica made it out in less than a minute. A quick brush and rinse was better than none at all and she felt better as she returned to her gorgeous lover. There were times when she felt incredibly blessed and there were times when she wondered how it was possible for her to get this lucky. Her only conclusion whenever she had such thoughts was that there was definitely a heaven and somewhere out there, God had heard her desperate pleas for help and decided to throw her not just a life buoy but an entire luxury liner to save her.
In the first place, it was a miracle that a girl like Yuri even existed. Ever so patient, loving, kind and understanding, Yuri did not seem to have a temper and when she did get angry, it was never for selfish reasons. Yuri was one of the most giving people she had ever met. No, scratch that. Yuri was the most giving person she had ever met. She knew that she would never have made her recovery this quickly if it weren’t for Yuri’s constant encouragements and consolations. Just a touch from Yuri, a hug, a kiss, a pat and she would feel better instantly. And Yuri’s voice, so soothing in her ear. Yuri’s scent, that familiar smell that she came to know so well, had a huge part to play in giving her the sense of security that she needed as well.
Kwon Yuri, the luxury liner of her life, had picked her up from the ruins, when she had almost given up on finding happiness that to fill the dark corners of her heart, and saved her. She knew very well that Yuri did not truly understand the extent of the love she had for her but it was alright. Yuri too, had her reasons for carrying that kind of self-doubt around. Growing up with hyperactivity had not been an easy journey and she knew that Yuri too, struggled with her sense of worth for a very long time, as a result of that. Perhaps, her struggle continued even till this day, for as confident as she behaved these days, there were instances when she would detect telltale signs of self-doubt.
And it was this that made Yuri even more beautiful to her. That a girl like Yuri would be willing to sacrifice herself for others without asking for anything in return, was a quality that stunned her from the start. It was also this quality of Yuri’s that she was determined to protect from being misused or taken advantage of. From being teased and called names in school, to being used to do additional work or being taken for granted by others to do the dirty work, Yuri had taken it all and never complained. Knowing that, Jessica had had to step up and assert herself to stop it from happening and this sometimes led to disputes between her and Yuri.
One instance of this happened years ago, during the early days of their relationship. Yuri was late for their dinner date and Jessica, getting tired of it happening yet again, had asked her why. It turned out that Yuri had helped a colleague to cover part of his shift and was late because of that. But this wasn’t the first time. In fact, Yuri had helped him out several times and when Jessica asked, hadn’t given Yuri any reason for doing so. Jessica decided to investigate, and as it turned out, only his first request had been a genuine need for help; the requests that followed after that were just him trying his luck to get time off work. When she confronted the man, he had not been pleased and had made his displeasure known to Yuri afterwards. This led to Yuri confronting her and their resulting argument…
“Why are you going around questioning my colleagues?”
“I’m not going around. I only questioned one of your colleagues and you know why.”
“It’s none of your business, Sica. I didn’t ask you to do that.”
“None of my business?” Jessica stood akimbo, her indignance growing. “Am I just a stranger to you then?”
“No. You’re my girlfriend but that doesn’t give you the right to do these things.”
“Yuri, he was taking advantage of you. He admitted that much to me.”
“But I’m willing to cover his shift. I’m okay with it. Now he thinks I complained about it behind his back. Now he’s accusing me of being a two-faced bitch.”
Jessica reached for Yuri’s hand but the woman stepped back. “Yuri,” she reached for Yuri again and caught her hand this time, “he has been taking advantage of you.”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“How—why not? He doesn’t actually need help. He’s not in trouble or anything like that. He asked you to cover his shift because he knows you’ll do it for free.”
“And what’s wrong with that? He always thanks me for covering his shift. He’s nice to me. But now he’s not going to be nice to me anymore.”
“You don’t need to cover his shifts to get him to be nice to you. If that’s his only reason for being nice to you, then he’s not a real friend at all.”
“But I’m totally fine with helping him!”
“How many times have you covered his shift? Five? Six? Seven times? How many more times are you going to help him? Are you going to help him every week?” Jessica looked deep into Yuri’s troubled eyes. “There’s no end to this, Yuri. There is a line between a real friend and someone who just wants to take advantage of your kindness. Save it for someone who truly needs it.”
Tears fell from Yuri’s eyes and the woman shook her head. “He’s going to hate me now.”
“No, he won’t.” Jessica patted Yuri’s dark hair, her heart hurting for this girl who stood tearing before her. “He’s only behaving like this because he’s feeling guilty. He’s lashing out at you to make himself look tough. He’s not going to apologize for making use of you so lashing out is all he can do, but he’ll be back to normal soon. Once the whole thing blows over and he forgets.” Jessica planted a kiss on Yuri’s trembling lips. “Don’t let people do these things to you. You don’t need the whole world to like you. Besides, I like you. I adore you and that’s the most important thing.”
“I really didn’t mind helping him. I get to spend more time at Carnical and it’s not like I have better things to do anyway.”
“You do have better things to do. You could do me for starters.”
Yuri’s eyes grew wide, blinking. “Do you?”
Jessica grinned. “Yeah. Do me. Not only that, you can use the time to read, go for a walk, rest, have dinner with me…”
Yuri bowed her head. “I’m sorry I was late for our date.”
“It’s okay. You must understand that I wouldn’t have confronted him if he had a real reason for asking you to help him. But he didn’t. Do you understand? I don’t have a problem with you being kind and helping people but I won’t stand by and do nothing when I see someone taking advantage of you.” Jessica clenched her teeth as the thought. “No one deserves to be taken advantage of. No one. And that includes you.”
Yuri closed her eyes and hugged her tight. Her arms went around the taller woman and together, they stood still for a long time…
“And I’m back.” Jessica grinned like a pixie, putting the less pleasant memories behind her. “Now, feed me.”
“Ah…” went Yuri and Jessica opened her mouth to accept the buttered toast.
“Drink your coffee before it turns cold.”
Jessica picked up the cup of coffee and sniffed. Yuri was more than good at making coffee, a skill that Jessica truly appreciated since her own skills were far from decent. Taking a sip of the coffee energized her and put it back down before grabbing Yuri by her neck. “I changed my mind.”
“I want you for breakfast.”
“Aren’t you hungry?”
“I’m hungry for you.”
Yuri’s handsome grin was back. “Horny, you mean.”
Jessica shrugged. “Hungry, horny, po-teh-to, po-tah-to.”
Yuri giggled. She took the tray and turned to put it on the floor. Then, in a single fluid motion, pulled her tank top up and over her head. She wasn’t wearing a bra so it was a topless Yuri who grinned at Jessica as they sat on the bed. “Still hungry?”
Jessica nodded. “I’m even hungrier now.” Hands reached around her neck and she was pulled towards Yuri’s breasts.
Jessica obliged, opening her mouth to give Yuri’s left breast a warm welcome. She closed her lips around the soft flesh and sucked a moan out of the woman. One moan wasn’t enough, however. It only made her hungry for more. Getting into the mood, she rose onto her knees and pushed Yuri flat on the bed before leaning down to take Yuri’s breast into her mouth again. Her tongue made quick work of the nipple, calling it to attention with a few flicks. When it stood at rapt attention, she let it go and raked her teeth down the side of Yuri’s breast, nipping around the edge, down to the underside. She made a good half-circle before travelling to the other side to do the exact same thing.
By now, Yuri was moaning twice as loud and was beginning to sound incoherent. With a smile, Jessica released Yuri’s left breast and planted a kiss down the middle. “I love you so much. Do you know how much I love you?”
“Do you really know how much I love you?”
“You love me more than racing…?”
Jessica shook her head, trying not to feel upset with Yuri’s doubtful tone. “You don’t think you’re more important to me than racing?”
Yuri shrugged. “Racing is very important to you.”
“You’ve underestimated your worth, Yuri.”
“You love me more than racing?”
Jessica nodded. “I love you more than anything.”
“No, you don’t.”
Yuri flashed a cheeky grin. “There’s Krystal, you know. How can you forget about your sister just because you have a half-naked girl in bed with you.”
Jessica shook her head this time. “Krystal’s my sister. I love her by default. But I love you just as much as I love her.”
“Sica.” The happiness that sparkled in Yuri’s eyes made Jessica smile wide.
“I love you that much, Yuri. Don’t you ever doubt it, okay?”
She settled down beside Jessica, arm around her waist. Their eyes met and Jessica liked what she saw. Love, tender love, was in Yuri’s puppy eyes. Precious love that she treasured beyond anything else in this world, she knew that she would do everything in her power to keep Yuri—even though she made Yuri angry at times.