So I missed yesterday but this was too tempting to resist writing. It’s set in an AU where Tony and Pepper never admitted their feelings to each other and I might expand it later
“Oh no. Oh, no no no.”
Tony followed the sound of panic to the office next door. “What’s up, Pep?”
Pepper straightened, tapping furiously at her screen to minimise the email program open. “Nothing.”
“I thought we agreed there would be no secrets between us.”
“No, we agreed you wouldn’t hide potentially life-threatening situations like palladium poisoning. This is nothing like that.”
“Then what is it? Who was that email from?”
She sighed. “My sister. She’s coming to visit.”
“Is that a problem? I mean, I never had any siblings to hate, but I thought you got along with your family.”
“I do. I love my sister. Only…”
“Gesundheit. Oh, were you trying to say something?”
Pepper buried her face in her hands, ears tinged red. Tony was glad his normally unflappable PA couldn’t see how amusing this was for him. Her next words came out muffled, but audible. “I said, I’ve been telling Pen I have a boyfriend and now she wants to meet him.” Tony wiped the smile off his face as she looked up, hope in her eyes. “You’re single, right?”
Waking up Shades rolled over and his breath caught in his throat. She was sleeping soundly, long dark hair surrounding her face and shoulders. He brushed a strand back behind her ear softly so as not to wake her.
His finger tips followed the curve of her face to the tip of her chin where his sight was once again drawn down to the gold chain around her neck.
Picking up the ring that lay on her chest he twirled it around his finger. He didn’t need to look up to know she was awake. He kept his eyes on the gold ring while she watched him.
“You kept it.” He said “I… I thought you hated me. I thought you left me when I went inside, and I know what I said last night but I didn’t mean it.”
“Hernan..” She tried but he stopped her.
“Just let me say this.” He closed his eyes taking a breath. “I was angry and hurt but more with myself for getting us in that place. I … I have loved you since I saw you that first day in high school, with that red ribbon in your hair. I knew then I wanted to give you everything and all I did was break your heart.” Tears filled her eyes at his words. This was years of everything he ever thought of saying in one moment.
“I understand why you dropped out on me. But. Do you… do you think that maybe… I could, I don’t know. Have another shot?” He finally looked to her eyes hoping he hadn’t lost her forever.
Taking a breath to speak he stopped her yet again. “Wait” He held up a finger “just hold on.”
Scrambling off the bed completely naked he grabbed his pants and pulled his wallet from the pocket. Sitting down next to where she had sat up with the sheets wrapped around her. Holding up his hand she saw something she thought was lost forever. “Andreanna Alvarez, I am so sorry.”
“Hernan..” She breathed out seeing the tiny thin gold band that held a small pearl with two even smaller diamonds above and below it. It wasn’t even meant to be an engagement ring but it was all they had had at 17 years old.
Wrapping her hands around his she looked up tears running down her face. “Hernan I don’t understand. I, I wrote to you every day I didn’t give up. I called the prison trying to get visits information. Every time I would get close, you were moved. It was when you were sent to Sea Gate the Warden called me. He said to stop. He said you didn’t want me.”
“Drea, how could I not want you?” He asked
reaching over wiping her tears away, he was confused. Before anger could settle over confusion the sound of a car pulling up and doors slamming could be herd out side causing them both to jump in surprise.
Shades grabbed his pants off the floor and pulled them on while making his way to the window. “Shit” He said when he looked out and saw four armed men piling out of an SUV. “Baby get up stairs.”
“What is it?” She asked wrapping the sheet around herself.
“I don’t know but it looks like a hit is about to go down.” He said following her out the door and down the hall.
“A hit? For who? Me?” She asked turning around when they got to the top of the stairs.
Opening the master bedroom door he walked her inside. “I don’t know baby. Get dressed.” He told her as he started rushing around the room pulling out all of the weapons he had found the night before.
“Here.” She tossed him a black men’s t-shirt. Eyeing the shirt he looked at her with a brow raised. “It’s not another guys ok? It’s yours. I kept all your shirts. I sleep in them sometimes.” She confessed sheepishly as she quickly pulled on her jeans and a similar black t-shirt.
A smile tugged at his lips despite the danger that was heard breaking through the front door. “Quick Baby, are there any I missed?” He asked pulling the shirt over his head.
Scanning her eyes over the bed where he laid out her stock she nodded her head. “Yeah a few. But if you didn’t find them they wont.”
“Good, arm up.” He said shoving a gun in his waist ban.
Barefoot they made their way down the hall. From the top of the stairs they could hear men in the kitchen and living room. “Maybe they did kill each other.” One of them commented only to be shushed by the others.
Shades tried to get in front on her, but she stormed down the stairs guns raised. She was spotted immediately and shots were fired.
The two in the kitchen went to run to the aid of the two in the living room but Shades had spotted them. Firing one round through the hole in the wall from the night before one man went down. As the other ran past the stairs Shades dropped him too.
Following the sound of fighting he ran into the living room to see Andreanna on the floor a man dead next to her and another on top of her. He had his hands around her neck choking the life from his wife. Dropping the guns in his hands he ran and pulled the man off of her. Throwing him onto the floor Shades climbed on top of him and began to use both fists to beat the man’s face in. Left, right, left, right.
“Baby stop!” She yelled, but Shades was fueled by rage at the sight of a man trying to kill his Andreanna, his wife. “HERNAN” She screamed grabbing his arm.
Shades fell back panting for breath. He looked into her eyes and suddenly saw clearly. “Shit baby.” He said lifting his bloody hand to her face. Pulling her close he held her tight staring at the barely breathing man on the floor. “Come on.” He helped her off the floor.
“Hey, wake up.” She said patting him on the head. They had brought the man upstairs and tied him to a chair. They wanted answers.
“Come on Sleeping Beauty.” He groaned opening his eyes. “Hey there you are.” She smiled at him.
“What?” He said looking around then struggling when he realized he was tied down. “What do you want?”
“Answers, silly.” She said laughing. “Who sent you?”
“I ain’t telling you shit bitch.” He remarked spitting at her. Only to end up with a knife in his hand.
“Do not speak to MY WIFE that way.” Shades said twisting the blade. “Now answer the God damn question puppet.” He demanded pulling the blade from his hand.
“AAHH” He cried out in pain. “I don’t know!”
Looking to each other in confusion for a moment then back to the errand boy in the chair Red pulled her fist back “Wait!” He winced hoping she wouldn’t strike. “I’m telling the truth. I don’t know.”
“Then what do you know?” She asked.
Sighing in defeat he explained. “All I know is someone found out Shades was married. Decided to test his loyalty. If he didn’t kill you we were ordered to kill you both. That’s it.”
“Who?” She pressed
When he said nothing Shades yelled “ANSWER HER!”
“I really don’t know.” He said looking to Red desperate.
“What we’re the orders exactly?” Shades questioned. Trying to control himself.
“Maann.” He drug out not wanting to tell him.
“NOW!” He yelled again causing even Red to jump.
“Orders were if you didn’t kill her, meant your loyalty wasn’t shit. So we was told make you watch while we did her..”
Andreanna jumped a single tear pouring down her face mixing with the man’s blood that had splattered her cheek.
Shades stood frozen, gun still raised pointed where the man’s head once sat. The only movement his heaving chest.
“You have to kill me.”
Shades finally looked up shocked by her words. “What?”
“Just hear me out.” She stepped forward placing her hand over his careful of the still hot barrel. “You have to kill me. I need to be dead so we can find out who is doing this to us.” She spoke slowly looking into his eyes.
Finally he understood. “Ok, yeah, ok ok.”
Dropping the gun he pulled her closer. Holding tight he never wanted to let go. “Pack a bag. A small one.”
Stepping out of the shower Shades wrapped a towel around his waist and walked into the bed room. She was sitting on the bed surrounded by pictures of memories from their past. Picking the one from her hand he took a shuddering breath. She was smiling bright in a white dime store dress. His arms were wrapped around her, his lips pressed to her temple. It was their wedding day. “Your sister took this one. I remember every detail of that day.” He smiled.
“She’s why I started this.” He looked up to her. He wanted to hear how she had gotten into the murder for hire business, but with the way she started that sentence he wasn’t so sure anymore. “After you were taken she was all I had left. A week after I got that call from the Warden telling me to leave you alone she was caught in the crossfire of some business here in Harlem. I wanted the person responsible. Now I’m here.”
“Listen to me.” He said grabbing her face in his hands. “You are gonna go someplace safe. I am going to twist them up and make them tear themselves apart. That way when I come for you they will be either to busy or to dead to follow. Then you and I are gonna have the life these two kids dreamed of.” He finished holding up the picture of them.
Nodding her head she wiped away her tears and stood from the bed. Pulling her shirt over her head she then turned and picked up a gun handing it to him “What’s this?” He asked not liking where this was going.
“I have to be dead. They’ll want proof. Two here in my chest above my heart take the picture you’ll have proof.”
“Just do it.” She cut him off.
Raising the gun he pointed it at her shoulder. He froze he couldn’t do this. “I trust you baby.” She reassured him.
“I love you Andreanna.” Then he squeezed the trigger twice.
She fell to the bed passed out from the pain. Quickly, he snapped the pictures then ran to her side. Scooping her into his arms he pulled them more firmly on the bed. “Come on baby wake up.” He shook her. “Dre, wake up baby.” Nothing “Andreanna!” He yelled.
Suddenly her eyes opened and she sat up with a gasp.
Pulling up to the airport Shades parked and jumped out to open her door. “Are you sure you’re ok?”
“Hernan I’m fine. They were through and through.” She smiled at him as he walked her to the terminal.
“Sit here I’ll get your tickets and bags checked.”
A few minutes later he came back with her passport and ticket. Opening it up she laughed “Puerto Rico?” She looked at him smiling.
“We always wanted to go.”
“So what you gonna take off the suits put down the guns and help me raise chickens at the beach?” She laughed
“Depends. You gonna run after those chickens in a bikini?” He smirked.
She just laughed. “Flight 3245 to Vieques Airport, Puerto Rico now boarding.” They heard over the intercom.
Helping her to her feet he pulled her in for another hug. “I love you, Mrs Andreanna Alvarez. ”
“And I love you Mr Hernan Alvarez.” He leaned down and gave her one last long slow kiss. “Give em hell from me baby.” She mumbled against his lips.
“You know it baby.” He mumbled back stealing one more peck for the road.
He watched her walk through security then stood at the window as she boarded the plane. Once it was gone and in the air he finally felt she was safe.
Walking back out to his Range Rover he slipped on his Ray Bans.
He wore his shades for business, and it was time for business.