The Aftermath Academy - Epilogue (Olivia)
I run my fingers over Krieg’s chest. His skin is soft and warm. It’s a surprisingly pleasant feeling, the warmth of human flesh. It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced it outside of VR.
My body tingles with the contact, and with the power brimming within me, even more than I get while fighting. But I keep the power suppressed, instead pulling Krieg into another kiss, enjoying the ruffle of silken sheets on my skin as my body moves beneath them.
“You know, you really didn’t need to go changing the whole world just to be with me,” I joke lightly. Krieg snorts in derision. “So long as I was fine with you keeping your Pride up. How’d that go last time you tried it?”
“Low blow,” I say, pouting. “I really liked that guy. I thought for sure he was strong enough… ah, well I was really too young then anyways.” Still feel a bit bad though. Last time I tried to lose my virginity was to one of my mother’s nicer soldiers. He had absurd levels of super strength. Unfortunately, not enough. The whole experience ended quite poorly. Namely in that he died.
This time though I was able to let down my Pride. Even now I can feel a shiver of vulnerability, the slightest tremor of panic at not being protected by my power. Krieg feels it and embraces me closely. “You’re safe,” he whispers into my ear.
At least as safe as one can be near the middle of an immortality field generated and secured by a competent Untouchable, housed in an armored penthouse, under state of the art bullet and energy resistant sheets, in the embrace of another Untouchable, filled with nanites that can do a damn good job repairing tissue damage.
Yeah, still happy it’d only take a few milliseconds to restore my Pride. Being a little vulnerable was worth it, IS worth it, but it’s still a struggle. Even with the immortality field it took weeks of practicing not to have a meltdown after suppressing my Pride, another couple of months before I could focus on other things enough to really enjoy the experiences not destroying everything I touch has to offer.
“Thank you,” I tell him. I know in a sense he’s broken beyond repair, incapable of loving me in a normal human fashion. I don’t know that he even gets anything out of being physically intimate, more so doing it to humor me. But whether he’ll admit it to anyone or not, he’s loyal. He risked his own life, which he values above anything, to help me. To help repair my own forms of brokenness.
He’ll do whatever he’s capable of to make me happy, because I’m whatever version of family he can conceive. Maybe it shouldn’t be, but that’s enough for me, to have family I can trust again. To have family I can touch again. Him, Lilith, and Abe.
I don’t know what the future holds. But we’ll have a long time to figure it out. Together.
I nuzzle into Krieg’s chest, soaking in the warmth, and I smile.
End of Book
Author's Note- Well that's all folks. I'll admit I wish I'd figured out and moved on the tech piece a lot sooner since I lot my greatest affinity marketing channels went away pretty much right as I was starting.
And I have new found levels of respect for web serial authors who actually have write each post and not just format and upload while also maintaining a day job. No wonder so many disappear.
But alas in terms of getting feedback for the first book this exercise has been something of an unmitigated failure. I guess if you read along to this point then I hope you enjoyed.