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No Second Guesses, No Regrets

The Impending Tempest

Taryn woke exhausted. Her eyes fluttered open to the morning sun pouring through the bedroom windows. Today was Tuesday – nothing special going on today that she knew of. Good thing, too – she needed to recuperate. Not that she was complaining about making love all night with an amazing man… She rolled over and was a little surprised to find Steve sitting up and reading a book.

Rogers set the book down on his lap and turned to her with a smile. "Good morning, Love."
She smiled dreamily and stretched. So, last night wasn't a dream after all. "Mmmmorning."
He reached an arm out to her, pulling her in to lay on his chest and he kissed the top of her head. "How are you this morning?"

She sighed contentedly. "Tired, sore and wonderful. You gave me quite a work out last night."

He blushed. "Yes, well, you certainly put me through my paces."

"So does that make us evenly matched?" she asked looking up at him.

He brought his lips to hers in a long, luxurious kiss. "I think we're very compatible." He kissed the tip of her nose.

They lay in each other's arms for a little while in comfortable silence and eventually Steve spoke. "Is there anything you want to do today?"

She grinned up at him. "Besides an encore of last night? Can't we just stay in bed all day?"

"Hmm… that my dear, sounds like a wonderful idea," he said, finishing with a kiss.

A good while later, Taryn lay back on the pillow, breathless. "My God, Steve, you may be the death of me!"

Steve chuckled and propped himself up on an elbow. "That would be interesting to read about…"

Taryn laughed out loud and slapped him in the chest. They giggled for a bit over that, then she decided she should probably shower. "You could join me," she said getting out of bed and wrapping a sheet around herself. "But something tells me we'd just end up getting dirty again."

His cheeks reddened. "You're incorrigible!"

She shrugged. "I can't help it. It's what you do to me. You've ruined a nice girl," she joked.
He almost took her seriously and she waived it off. "Relax. I'm joking."

"Well, yes… I knew that…"

"Good," and she disappeared into the bathroom. "You know where to find me…"

Steve heard the shower start. He should really leave her to shower in peace. But it does conserve water, he reasoned…

Taryn lathered up her hair was a bit surprised to hear the bathroom door shut.

He cleared his throat. "In the interest of water conservation, I thought I would join you."

That made her laugh out loud. She rinsed her hair and he could see her soapy silhouette through the large glass door. "Well by all means, for water conservation."

An hour later they emerged from the shower, dried themselves and returned to the bedroom. Taryn pulled on a clean tee and sleep shorts and grabbed her laptop and dropped on the bed.

"Hey, I thought we said no work today?" asked Steve in his lounge pants and tee. He was
sitting on her bed reading his book.

"No work. Just need my internet fix. Check out the latest Hollywood gossip and all that…"

Steve chuckled, crunched down on an apple and went back to his book. "What else will I find out about you this week?"

Taryn laughed and browsed the internet and apparently Tony had thrown a party complete with fireworks from the top of Avenger's tower. The police and air traffic control hadn't been amused, but the city enjoyed it.

Seeing that Avengers news was trending, she clicked on the next article. She nearly choked as she sipped her water.

"What? You ok?"

"Oh, just peachy. Listen to this…" and she launched into reading the article out loud to him.

"The Captain's New Lady. Steve Rogers, aka Captain America was spotted in a little town in way upstate New York this week, celebrating the 4th of July, as well as a new woman in his life? The two were spotted holding hands, eating apple pie and snuggling atop the Ferris wheel at the local Independence Day fair. And who is this young woman, you ask? Rumor has it that she is none other than newest Avenger member Taryn McKenna, also known as Vibe to the team. Taryn tragically lost her abilities after being infected with evil genius Markus Thornfeld's neutralization serum last spring. But that apparently doesn't matter to our Cap. They were seen around the town getting pretty cozy. McKenna's home is near the town and they're supposedly staying there. Wow, Cap, we didn't think you had it in you. So, sorry ladies, but it looks like he's off the market for now."

"Good grief," he said. "I can't imagine how they got those photos-"

Taryn shook her head. "With everyone having a cell phone these days, it's not shocking. And obviously someone in the diner either overheard Ellie's revelation, or figured it out themselves. Nice picture of me stuffing pie in my face – Oh Jesus, look at the caption! 'Cap's
girlfriend has quite the appetite.'

Steve leaned over and looked at the photo. It really was an unflattering picture of her with her mouth wide open and fork stuck in it. He sighed and sat back. "Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. I'm sorry."

Taryn had to laugh. "Not your fault. We figured the paparazzi would catch on eventually. If you want to go back to the compound, I understand…"

He shook his head. "Well for one thing, I wouldn't leave without you. And another thing, I've no intention of cutting our vacation short. Besides, weren't we spending the day in bed today?"

Laughing, Taryn playfully hit him in the arm. "Yeah, but what if they find this place? Ooo, I have an idea. C'mon!"

She jumped up and he, curious, followed. She walked into her den and accessed her hidden command center and they descended into the basement.

"Wow… I did not expect this…"

"It's for when things go sour." She sat at her desk and accessed the computer.

"What are you going to do?" he asked, very curious.

"Cloak the place. Make it look like it's an old barn – part of the neighbor's property."

He watched her click away on the keyboard. Schematics of the property came up, and she applied programs to them. She brought up a satellite image and zoomed into an aerial view of the cabin. Steve watched it change from the cabin and garage to a horse barn, fenced yard and chicken coop. She just hoped she had done this soon enough. She did not want to be over-run with cameras.

"I'm also setting perimeter alarms. If anyone comes with a mile of this place, we'll know it."

He stood back against the wall with his arms folded across his chest. "Well that was impressive. Didn't know you were a computer genius too… Do you think that is a bit over zealous?"

She shook her head, clearly in operative mode. "Think about it. If one photographer can track us down, who knows who else can?"

"You have a good point," he thought grimly.

Steve looked around the expansive room as she typed. The entire area looked like it was right out of the heli-carrier. Cold, gray, electronics everywhere. He was betting that behind one of these panels lay an arsenal.

"There, all set. We'll be notified of anything. I think we should probably refrain from going outside in the day time. The cloak is good but sometimes moving objects distort it just enough that you can tell it isn't real."

"Well then," he stated, approaching her slowly. "I suppose we really will need to spend the day in bed."

"Who's incorrigible?" she laughed.

So they decided to spend the day in bed watching movies. Taryn sent Steve through her movie library while she went out to make popcorn. She came back into the bedroom with a massive bowl of the snack and dropped it between them. Steve wasn't going to let her sit all the way on the other side of the bowl, so he picked it up and pulled her close. They snuggled, munched popcorn and watched Independence Day. Steve had never seen it and while a Hollywood movie, he knew firsthand the notion of aliens trying to take over the Earth wasn't all that far-fetched. Hell, he had lived through it.

Next movie up was Taryn's pick. One of her favorites, even though it was romantic, was Ever After. She placed it in the player and nestled close to him. This would show him a different side of her.

The credits rolled and Steve smiled. "I can see why you like that movie. She's very independent, like you."

She smiled. "Yes, but even independent women need rescuing every now and then."

He lifted her chin to kiss her. "As long as you let me, I will always rescue you."

"I know," and she shifted to sit on his lap. She kissed him ardently and sighed. "Too bad it's back to reality in a few days…"

He nodded. It had been a blissful week and he really didn't want to leave at all. But he knew before too long, the Avengers would be needed again. "So, let's not rush it."

He kissed her long and luxuriously and Taryn turned the TV off and they got themselves comfortable on the bed. She pulled up the comforter over them and they curled up together. Laying in each other's arms, they talked about the past and the present, about life and about enjoying being together.

Eventually the two fell asleep, Taryn's head resting on Steve's chest.

Taryn awoke with Steve's arm still wrapped around her. It was now dark outside and the clock read 11:34. Something didn't feel right. She was… she was sensing something… Were her powers coming back?

"Steve." She woke him with a touch of her hand.


"Steve, something's wrong. I can sense –"

Suddenly her cell phone went off. She had it programmed so that the security alarms would route to her phone. She grabbed it off the side table and it was pulsing red. Intruders in the perimeter.

She glanced at Steve for a second, then they jumped out of bed. She sent Steve to get dressed and she ran down to her lair and told him to meet her down there. Taryn immediately booted up her computer and pulled up a satellite view. She was not encouraged by the infrared scan. Steve appeared behind her and she instantly locked the room down.

"What's wrong?" he asked seriously.

"We've got six targets approaching in from all directions. On foot, carrying weapons. These are not paparazzi."

"Damn it, you were right about the article. How far out?"

"They're still about 40 minutes on foot. We need to move. I've already sent an encrypted communication to the others. Not confident, though. There seems to be some blocking tech going on here."

Steve tossed his packed bag on the desk. He was dressed, packed and ready to move. "Are we safe in here?"

"In a fire fight against two, maybe three, but I've got some escape routes out of here." Taryn moved to a panel and waived her hand. It opened to reveal a closet. She pulled out a light weight Kevlar jumpsuit in blue and black combat boots. Not concerned about his presence, she disrobed and tossed her PJs on the chair. She pulled the skin tight suit on and zipped it up.

She moved to the chair to put on her boots. "Take a look in the closet. There are some men's Kevlar vests. Put one on." She braided her hair and rolled it up, pinning it on her head. From the other side of the room, she reached out with her mind to open another two panels.

"Your powers? They're back?!"

She nodded. "Seems to be. I woke up sensing something was wrong."

The panel she had opened exposed an arsenal of weapons. Guns, swords, flash grenades, smoke bombs. He stood speechless.

"Hey, a girl has to protect herself. Suit up and weapon up. Sorry but I don't have an extra shield."

He shrugged with a smile and grabbed a double shoulder holster. He strapped it on, checked the 9 mms and loaded them.

Taryn wrapped hip holsters around herself and a utility belt and loaded it up with grenades and smoke bombs.

An alert chimed in. "T-minus 20 minutes."

"I think it's best we get the hell away from the cabin and town. I don't want any collateral damage."

"Right. Bike?"

She nodded. "It's faster and more maneuverable if we need to take it into the woods."
Taryn grabbed her lap top and tossed it into an armored back pack. She mentally opened another panel in the far corner. "This passage leads to the garage. Are you all set?"

He nodded, placing some more ammo clips into the Kevlar vest pockets. He grabbed his bag and slung it cross body and nodded. He stole a quick kiss as she grabbed a katana and slid it into a back scabbard underneath the pack.

"Let's do this."

Her cell phone had the satellite image called up and a countdown was at the top. "Fifteen minutes," she said as they ran through the passage. They came to the ladder and Steve insisted on going up first.

Nothing. Just like the infrared – only the two of them. Steve helped her out of the trap door and she sealed it up with the controls on the phone. He mounted the bike and primed it ready. Taryn mounted behind him and squeezed him tight. Steve patted her hand. "Don't worry. We'll get out of this."

"I know. I love you."

He held her hand tight. "I love you. You ready?"

She hesitated. "Chopper coming. Let's motor."



Very nicely written! I enjoyed the chapters so far.

GlowingCrimson GlowingCrimson