Krista's hardly stomped the snow from her boots and pulled off her hat before that look creeps into Magnus' eyes. Krista drops her hat onto the coat rack and dips her chin, presumably to unzip her jacket, to hide a wince.
"Have you been good?" Magnus purrs as Krista slips out of her jacket, stepping away from the puddle that's forming on the floor despite her best efforts.
"Yes." She had been good, exceedingly so. It was customary for Krista to abstain- sex and alcohol- the week before Magnus was due to visit, if she knew that far ahead of time. This time Magnus had asked for two weeks and Krista had complied. She'd had to tell Blake she was on the rag, early, when he'd showed up on Wednesday. While it wasn't exactly a deterrent, Blake was Blake after all, she'd promised to give him all the higher profile flights— the ones in and out of major airports- for the next week, which meant, in effect, she wouldn't be getting any next week either.
Krista hates the way her face colors at the would be praise, hates the way she makes it so easy for that slow grin to creep over Magnus' face. It's humiliating being treated like a child. No one had bothered with such a condescending tone since her mom had stopped trying. She'd been five then, maybe six and prone to talking back, fighting against every indication that she was anything less than her father's daughter.
She's softened since then, learned to appreciate complements from those who meant them, but she'd still rather sink to her knees and lick the melted snow from the floor before she let Magnus take that tone with her.
There's no real way around it though, avoiding the praise meant breaking the rules, displeasing Magnus, and Krista had learned early on that that was a bad idea. Magnus wasn't one to get angry, in fact Krista thought she found her occasional disobedience amusing, a willful child clinging to a stubborn bid for superiority. Amused or not, however, Magnus wasn't one to dispense her punishments lightly, they were thoughtful, carefully executed, and everything Krista hated.
There was no sassing allowed in Magnus' book. There was no way to ease the blow, so Krista lets her face color, eyes still held on the floor and pulls her sweatshirt up over her head. There will be more 'good girls' later, with fingers running gently through her hair, her face tear streaked, blotchy where anxious fingers had brushed, pressed, attempting to stop the involuntary display of emotion.
She supposes that's another reason why she hates those two particular words so much, no other words follow so closely on the heels of her voluntary pain. She supposes there could be others, for she knows these two words mean so many other things: I'm proud, it's ok, you're alright now, I knew you could. It's always these two though, the two words that greet her, and the two that send her off to sleep or float behind her out the door.
They're the only two words that will drop her to her knees and she hates that; like a puppet on a string she'll do anything to hear those two words. With every phone call, every knock on the door she promises herself she'll walk away, but she never will. She may hate to hear them, but here at least they've never been more true. When she’s here with Magnus, it’s not about Krista the smartass or the pilot. It’s about black and white and following the rules. It’s easier here to let it all go and behave, be good, be Magnus’ good girl.