Taura smiled at Jack and finished pouring a cup of coffee. She brought it over to him and said, "Good morning."
"Thanks." He accepted the cup, yawned, and sat on the edge of the bed for a moment. He finally lifted the mug, inhaled, and then took a sip. He blinked a few times, let out a slow breath, and glanced at the bed. "Nice to see this hasn't been bent into the shape of a potato chip."
"I'm sure it's only because there isn't anything handcuffs could be attached to." Taura laughed softly.
"Speaking of Madame Houdini, is she in the shower or ...?"
"She got up early and took care of that stuff already. Now she's down in the warehouse, having a look through the latest deliveries." Not long after being coerced into that weird streaming reality show, she and the others had noticed viewers sending them stuff from time to time. One of them usually brought the boxes of crap to the former safe house the three of them had begun using to get away from the cameras.
"Oh, boy. I wonder what kinds of things she's found."
"Who knows. Probably a few more boxes of those big, purple dildo bats. For some reason, people just won't stop sending us those things."
"Probably my fault for complaining about it on camera." Jack sighed, took a long sip of his coffee, then stepped into the shower.
Taura finished her own coffee, dressed, and clopped down the stairs. "Corona?"
"Over here." Corona peeked over a crate and waved. "Look what I found!"
As long as it's not another giant dildo … Taura braced herself and walked across the floor to the stack of boxes and crates they'd been piling up for the past few months. Corona took a pair of colorful boxes out of the crate, placed them on top of another, and opened one of them.
"Looks like an inflatable ball. Like, I dunno, a beach ball?" Corona shrugged, giggled, and took a plastic object out of the box. She glanced into the box and grinned. "Ah, it comes with a pump, too." She darted over to one of the workbenches along the near wall and plugged the pump into an outlet above the bench.
"What'd you find?" Jack asked from the stairs.
"Have a closer look." Corona giggled and started inflating the ball as Jack descended the stairs, still holding his coffee. He walked over and cocked his head as the ball began taking shape. Corona inspected the slowly inflating object and pointed at a hole built into the center. "Oh, I think it's supposed to fit around a person. I'll be right back!"
Giggling, she charged back up the stairs. Taura and Jack turned to each other, shrugged, and waited for her to come back. When Corona returned, she was wearing a set of cloth pieces lined with synthetic spider silk over her claws, horns, and knee- and elbow-spikes. She'd gotten them a long time ago to prevent accidental scratches and gouges while they had sex, but Taura presumed they were to protect the inflatable thingies, this time.
When the ball was fully inflated, Corona lifted her arms, wrapped her wings around herself to get them out of the way, and stuffed herself into the bouncy ball.
"Ugh … kinda tight, but … well, it works." The ball covered the top half of her body, protecting her head, and her arms were folded up in front of her so she could grip the inner handles with her hands. "Three's another one over there. One of you try it on."
Then she got a running start, jumped, and landed face-down. The ball bounced her almost back upright, then she toppled over and bounced again, giggling the whole time.
Jack shook his head, laughed, and then shrugged. "Sure, I'll give it a try."
Taura took her phone out, aimed it at them, and started recording a video. "For our viewers."
Corona giggled again and waited for Jack to inflate the other ball. Once it was fully inflated, he squeezed into it and Taura laughed and tried to hold her phone steady.
"Those make you look like aliens or something. Like, multicolored, round, bulbous things with legs sticking out the bottom."
"Heh." Jack flung himself forward, bounced, and rolled over. He laughed and struggled to get his feet under him. He finally propped himself up, Taura caught a glimpse of his distorted grin through layers of plastic, and he ran at Corona and bounced off her. She staggered and giggled as Jack rolled across the floor.
"Here's an idea," Taura said. "Both of you get a running start at each other and see what happens."
Corona snickered, trotted over to the rear wall, and waited. Jack jogged over to the door and Taura hurried to find a spot in the middle and pointed at an area in front of her camera.
"Try to meet right about there. Oh, Jack, are you recording this with your eyes?"
"Already started. The POV shots are gonna be epic."
"Nice. Okay, ready?"
"Yep," Jack said.
"Yeah." Corona giggled again.
"And … go!" Taura raised her left hand and brought it down quickly, then rushed to hold the phone steady.
Corona and Jack charged at each other, laughing and belting out a mock battle cry. They collided more or less in front of the camera and Corona barely budged, but Jack launched back across the room with a surprised yelp. Both feet left the ground and he stayed in the air for several seconds before he landed a good twenty feet away. He bounced back into the air and traveled another couple of yards before coming down again and then going into a smaller bounce.
I'll have to add some "boing" sound effects to this when I edit it. Taura shook her head and laughed as Jack finally reached the door and bumped into it.
"That was awesome!" Jack managed to get back on his feet. "Best amusement park ride ever."
"Wanna go again?" Corona asked.
"Okay, how about this time you stand in the middle and let Corona run into you?"
"Okay." Jack ran to the center of the floor, turned to Taura, and pretended to look terrified.
"Aw, now I feel bad about suggesting that."
"I'm only kidding." Jack grinned, turned to face Corona, and laughed. "Bring it!"
"Here I come!" Corona sprinted from the back wall and plowed into him. Once again, his feet left the floor and he shot through the air, bounced like a rock skipping across a lake, and finally came to rest upside-down. His laughter turned into grunts as his legs kicked around but couldn't tip him back upright.
"Can one of you roll me back over before I swallow my tongue?"
Chuckling, Taura ran over to him, holding the phone in one hand and giving his ankle a tug. At the same time, Corona stood on one foot and used the other to push on the ball. His upright legs toppled over and he came up on his knees and laughed his ass off.
"Hey, Taura, open the back door. I wanna try something."
"Okay." She jogged over to the door, unlocked it, turned the knob, and tugged. It stuck for a split-second, then opened with a loud, grinding creak. "Here ya go."
"I'm free! I'm free!" Jack ran full-speed at the doorway and jumped through it -- and the ball wedged in the door frame and left his feet dangling a few inches above the ground.
The sight made Taura lose it completely and she laughed so hard she had to brace her hands on her knees to stay upright.
"I'll save you!" Corona said once she'd stopped giggling and caught her breath. She ran full-steam ahead, rammed into Jack, and popped him out of the doorway like a cork. Taura darted to the right, aimed the camera, and managed to catch him bouncing and rolling over the gravel lot outside. Corona did a one-eighty and pranced away, leaving Taura doubled over in laughter again.
Once she could breathe again, she saved the raw video and sent it to her computer. "This is funny enough as it is, but once I add some sound effects, it'll be hilarious. Now, though, we probably should have breakfast and head back to the bunker."
"Hah." Corona wriggled out of her ball and grinned. "Maybe we should let Otto and Shakira play with these. Imagine the look on Machiko's face if she walked into the room and found them goofing around with these things."
"Oh, boy." Taura chuckled.
Jack managed to wiggle back through the door, extracted himself from the ball, and picked up the coffee he'd left on the bench. He aimed a goofy grin at her and Corona and let out a long breath.
"Professionals at work."