25 Ch25. Usefulness

It was four hours later that Sarael finally left Tom's office, whistling happily as he teleported back to hell under Tom's unamused glare.

Sighing, Tom stood up and left his office. He felt too tired to do paperwork or go back to his research. In his humble opinion, this meeting earned him a day off. Dealing with Sarael was always so exhausting.

As he arrived in the living room, he noticed Natasha sitting on the couch and wearing a baggy comfortable black hoodie with her legs up, hugging them to her chest as she watched a movie.

When she noticed Tom, she brightly smiled and patted a spot next to her, inviting him to sit down. Tom inwardly chuckled, happy to see her so comfortable and at ease inside his house, and walked towards the couch.

As his back burrowed into its divine softness, he barely stifled a moan. It was definitely worth its high price. Tom inclined his head back, leaning it on the backrest.

"How was the meeting?" Natasha curiously eyed him, ignoring the movie playing on the television.

Tom half-turned his head towards her and smiled, "I got everything I wanted from the deal."

That made Natasha a bit perplexed. She... by Tom's standards... cutely tilted her head and asked with furrowed brows, "Then why are you so downtrodden?"

"Because Sarael got what he wanted too." Tom grimaced. "It doesn't matter but I thought I would be able to strike a better bargain." He grumbled, a bit peeved.

Alas, he still had ways to go if he wanted to out-negotiate the old devil.

Natasha was amused at Tom's disgruntlement. Nevertheless, she reached toward the table and poured a bit of...

'Is that a hot chocolate?' Tom idly wondered as the delicious smell hit his nostrils.

Done with filling the empty cup, Natasha offered it to Tom, "Good job?" She half-asked a bit awkwardly.

"Thank you." Tom took the cup, amused at how prepared she was, yet, it made him grateful too. He then took a sip and his eyes widened a bit in surprise "Hmm, this is tasty." He praised her.

"I tried." Natasha playfully remarked as she refilled her own cup and returned to her earlier position on the couch.

A comfortable and companionable silence spread between them as they both watched television and sipped on their hot chocolate and honestly, Tom quite enjoyed it.

For the first five minutes before his mind started once again wandering toward his research.

Natasha, on the other hand, was inwardly fidgeting a bit, not really paying as much attention to the movie as her outward appearance would portray. It was very rare for her to be so indecisive, and feeling like this was a novel experience for her.

But she didn't have time for this!

Biting the inside of her cheek, she calmed herself through the pain and glanced at Tom, noticing he was starting to lose interest in the movie.

Knowing her opportunity would disappear if she didn't act fast, Natasha moved...

And Tom owlishly blinked as the woman suddenly straddled him and her arms loosely snaked around his neck.

Tom raised his head and looked at Natasha, only to find a trace of nervousness in her eyes.

"Are you sur-" He started.

Only to be cut off by her curt, "Yes."

"We barely know each other for three days." Tom nonchalantly pressed, raising his hands from beside him on the couch and putting them on her posterior, squeezing a bit.

It definitely surprised her and made her yelp a bit but soon enough, she smiled in satisfaction and leaned a bit into Tom.

To be honest, Tom could feel the effect her body had on him and he was also aware she could feel him poking her as well if her ever-so-slow teasing motions were any indication.

"I know everything I need to know about you." Natasha whispered, starting to kiss Tom's neck which elicited a few sounds of appreciation.

But...

Tom suddenly pushed her away, flipping her from his lap and causing her back to land on the couch with a shock apparent on her face.

Tom followed up by leaning above her, his hands near her cheeks on each side, supporting his body, "Why are you in such a rush?" He seriously asked in a no-nonsense tone.

It didn't make sense to him.

Yes, they had a nice moment at the party. They made out and fondled each other a lot that evening but they did not 'cross the line'.

They had a good relationship during the past three days and it was certainly improving. Sarael was also correct. Logically, Tom reckoned that if things continued going as they were now, he and Natasha would become intimate in under two months.

He had decided not to fight this. His body and mind, heck, he wanted it. He wanted her. He was clearly drawn to her since they first kissed at the party and she was obviously also feeling something similar... but two months and today were still two very different things.

Tom couldn't help but think something was not right here.

But... his doubt became bewilderment when he saw something he never thought possible. The young Black Widow under him was sporting a shy and blushing expression as if she was an innocent maiden about to lose her virginity.

Worse yet, her left cheek was touching his forearm and through the discreet use of his Sacred Gear, Tom realized she wasn't just playing it. She was really embarrassed and felt shy.

She was also confused, feeling shy for the first time in a very, very long while... but Tom cut off the connection between them, stopping to peek at the emotions she felt a second in the past. His mind was blown at what he discovered and he felt a bit guilty for not trusting her enough.

But this was Black Widow, and while an inability to betray him was nice, he knew it wasn't infallible. It had so many 'loopholes' that it wasn't even funny. But it was also the best, the most effect-to-cost effective measure he could do with his current abilities.

The girl under him was one of the biggest mundane seductresses alive and Tom was already partially caught in her 'web' if his feelings towards her were any indication. Seduction was not betrayal so he wasn't about to let his guard down around her.

But feeling how sincere her feelings were and how confused it made her...

Now that made Tom wryly smile in apology at her. Maybe he was too cautious around her and maybe that was why their 'relationship' didn't progress during the past three days despite them practically living together but he wanted to both be sure of her intentions and also respect her privacy unless she did something... like this.

In a way, her attempt and Tom's reaction sped up the forming of their relationship enormously since many of Tom's doubts were assuaged with this peek into her emotional state.

Inwardly sighing, Tom relaxed and the seriousness fading from his expression, "Would you tell me why you want to seduce me into sleeping with you?" But he couldn't help himself and teasingly added, "Especially explain why your attempt is so lousy and obvious? We both know you can do better, Miss Widow." He playfully wiggled his eyebrow at her.

Her pride attacked, Natasha acted as if she was offended and weakly hit Tom's chest, huffing in mock irritation, "I'll show you weak. You won't be able to walk once I am done with you." She tempted Tom in a feigned exasperation while licking her lips as she stared straight into his eyes.

But Tom only put his pointing finger on her lips, surprising her, "I want a proper answer, Natalia."

That stopped her playfulness, causing her to look abashed and conflicted for a moment before she mumbled something under her nose and turned her face to the side, once again sporting a heavy blush.

"Hmm, you gotta speak louder, dear." Tom leaned forward and kissed her hot cheek, making her let out a whine.

Taking a moment to calm herself, Natasha clutched at Tom's shirt, "I want to be useful." She quietly said with a tone full of embarrassment.

Tom furrowed his brows at that, "Bu-"

Before he could finish speaking, Natasha quickly leaned forward, pecking him on the lips and stopping him from talking. Her expression was still shy but her eyes now held resolve.

"My entire childhood, I was taught to make myself useful." She weakly started, not wanting to remember those moments. "You are very sweet to me, you know?"

Tom realized that this was a hard topic to talk about for her so, despite her pausing, he gave her time and didn't try to interrupt.

"But you want too little from me. I enjoyed it. I really did and do love the free time but I just want... no, I need to do more. I need to make myself useful or you will throw me away." She grimaced.

Tom was about to rebuke that statement but Natasha was faster, "I know! You won't do that but... I can't fight how I was raised." She self-deprecatingly whispered, "I can hate it but I can't fight it."

Tom stared into her eyes, not knowing what to say. She was in pain and...

"But you don't need my assassination skills. You don't have use for my infiltration skills. I am not strong enough to be even a good bodyguard for you. So, what's left for me to be useful?" Natasha rhetorically asked, both of them knowing the answer.

But Tom now had to answer the real question, the one hidden in her small speech.

In her twisted way, she offered herself to him both because she was afraid of being left behind by him and because she was starting to fall in love with him.

Tom had no idea if he should be flattered or pity her outlook.

The decision wasn't hard for him. He just... hoped it would come under different circumstances.

Delivering a gentle kiss on Natasha's forehead and making her scrunch her face, which accomplished his goal of stopping the anxious and uneasy expression she previously sported, Tom softly asked, "You do realize that Sarael will be insufferable once he finds out we had sex the second he left, don't you?"

At once, Natasha's expression lit up when she registered the underlying meaning of his words. Cheer returned to her voice, "Mhm, do you care?"

Tom chuckled at the absurdity of it all. Now that... was yet another easy question.

"Not one bit."

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