I saw the utter certainty in Blake's eyes and knew she was on to something. She took in a deep breath.
"Chris mentioned taking me back to Sanctuary to see the 'Boss'. If it's the same place, I know exactly where it is. But I don't understand...it can't be Hydra." she said shaking her head
"Why not?" asked Wanda taking a seat next to the bed "Didn't you say that was who he was working for?"
"Yeah, I mean he is I think. But the place; Sanctuary. It wasn't supposed have anything to do with Hydra. That was where we met, me and Chris. It was a school outside of Long Island, for kids with enhanced abilities. We didn't know what we were or where we fit in until they found us. I practically grew up there." she said looking reminiscent "But it was a good place, they helped us."
"Obviously something changed." I said getting to my feet.
She looked up at me "Chris might be scum but there were people there who needed that place, I can't image what they'd do if Hydra got hold of the school. Some of the kids, well they didn't really get wrong from right. Without the right teachers..." she trailed off
"We'll figure this out." I said wrapping my arms round her. She leaned into me and I felt the silkiness of her hair slide over my hands.
"If I'd just finished the job. I had him right there." she muttered into my shirt
"If you done it any other way you might be dead so stop it." said Wanda "You said the school was for enhanced. Does that mean Chris is as well?"
Blake pulled away from me and raked her hand through her hair "Kind of, we could never really tell for sure. We never had specific powered people like Wanda around to test the theory but they thought his thing was Enclosed Theta Manipulation, it's kind of the opposite of what you have." she said gesturing at my sister "Which means you won't be able to get in his head."
I looked over at Wanda, we'd never come across anyone with abilities like hers. She looked frightened but stuck out her chin "I'll handle it when it comes."
I knew she would but this was way outside our comfort zone. Something occurred to me then. "If he's enhanced. Why aren't they using him for their experiments?"
"I doubt he's told them. Like I said even we didn't know for sure. Some peoples powers didn't work on him, telekinesis that kind of thing. He wasn't the same as the rest of us." she said grimacing "I think that's why he joined that group, to feel part of something bigger."
"Hydra might not have been the best way to go." said a voice behind us. We turned and saw Steve standing there. "What do you know about this 'Boss?'" I looked at him sideways hoping he wasn't going to mention my drunken outburst from last night.
"Not much." said Blake rising to her feet. She pulled on my shoulder to steady herself and looked at Steve "There was this one guys at the school. Him and Chris were pretty close, used to refer to him as 'the boss' because he was so much older than us. He was in the last year when I left. He started filling Chris's head with crazy ideas, wanted to start a team of enhanced to go on raids with him. I thought it was just talk until he roped a few kids into breaking into a vault to steal money." she clenched her fists and I saw her shoulders rise and fall heavily as she carried on "Safe to say I wasn't ok with that. Chris got mad that I wouldn't help, I broke up with him and left. I dunno if it's the same guy but it would make a hell of a lot of sense if it was."
"You think you could ID him?" said Steve
"Oh yeah. Give me a sec I'll get you the coordinates." said Blake limping over to her bed and grabbing her phone. She typed out an address and threw the phone to me. I caught it and handed it to Steve. "It's at the centre of the compound. If it still has the same security they'll see us before we get within half a mile."
"We?" Steve asked her perplexed and she nodded looking just as confused "No offense Blake but you can't come."
"What?" she said loudly making her way back to us "But I can help."
Steve seemed torn, I could tell he didn't want to argue with her but he had other people to think of. I almost spoke up but stopped myself. I'd rather let Rogers get the brunt of it before I got involved.
"Not like that you can't" he said pointing to her leg. She shrugged and let go of the bed's railing putting her whole weight on her feet. I twitched wanting to grab her as I saw her face tighten but she didn't make any sound to say she was in pain.
"I have to be there. This is my fight too." she said defiantly but he shook his head.
"I'm not saying it isn't but I've made my mind up. I'm sorry." he said and turned to me and Wanda "I need you two on this, are you ready to go?"
I let out a short laugh. Did he expect me to get up and leave after everything that had just happened. He looked at Blake apologetically and she turned away, I could see Wanda looked like she wanted to say something comforting but stopped herself.
I understood why she had to go, but I didn't. Steve had been the one to tell me not to waste a second with Blake in the first place and given the fact she'd only just woke up I wasn't about to leave just because he asked politely. I sat down on the bed and reached for some food. "Take someone else, I'll stay here."
"Pietro-" said Wanda getting to her feet
"Roger's has plenty of backups. I'm sure you can get by without me for one day." Wanda gave me a long look and smiled very, very slightly.
"Alright." she said walking towards the door.
Steve sighed "I guess I'll call Romanoff then. Were leaving in a hour if you change your mind." Then he followed Wanda out still holding Blake's phone.
The moment they had left I heard Blake catch hold of the railing again and curse. I moved to her side and placed my hands on her waist.
"You shouldn't have done that." she said staring up at me "It'll come round and bite you in the ass."
"You think I care?" she smiled at me and shifted her weight "You should get off your feet." I said and she moved her hands down my chest making me shiver. Her touch was cool on my heated skin. It was always this way, I was too warm and hot-headed, and she was the cool and collected one. Her touch didn't always put me in a relaxing mood though. I looked down at her and felt the need to be a lot closer than we were now. Before she could move I picked her up in my arms and carried her to the bed.
"I'm pretty sure that's frowned upon in here." she said laughing as I laid her on the mattress.
I grinned down at her "You were saying something about getting out of here?"
"God yes." she said reaching up and wrapping her arms round my neck. I looked round but there was no one here. How long would it take them to notice we'd gone. Maybe an hour or two? It didn't matter we'd be out of here before they could even blink. I grabbed her and sped out of the room.
A few moments later I stopped outside our door and she pushed it open. I gently set her down on her feet and closed it. Then I heard her laugh and turned. I didn't have time to react as her lips crushed against mine pushing me back into the wood. I grabbed her waist and let her fall against me so she could keep one leg off the ground. It was funny how something like nearly watching her die had made everything about her more intense. Her energy, her smile, every inch of her body felt more alive.
We broke apart and I stared down at her "God you are so beautiful." I said caressing her face. She grinned up at me through her long eyelashes
"Vy dumayete, chto ya krasivaya?" she said raising an eyebrow and I laughed
"Where in the hell did you learn that?" I asked bewildered. It was the first time I'd ever heard her say something in my native language. The words rolled off her tongue so effortlessly I wondered why she hadn't started sooner.
"I've picked up things from Nat along the way. Gotta keep you on your toes."
"Well whatever it is don't stop." I said grabbing hold of her again
"But you sound like that all the time." she said laughing at my eagerness
"Yes but I'm used to it...on you though" I said running my hands over her skin
"Now you know how I feel." She said closing her eyes slightly. She moved her legs closer to mine she put most of her weight on her injured ankle and took in a sharp intake of breath. "You know I might need some help with this." she said pointing down at her foot.
I thought for a second then in one quick motion picked her up and pulled her thighs around my hips. She looked surprised as she stared down at me. I tilted my head to the side and gave her a mischievous grin. "Or I could always get you a chair-" she cut me off as she wrapped her hands in my hair and brought her mouth back to mine.
As her body pressed against me I held her as tightly as I could, her back arched inward as she gripped onto my shoulders. Luckily this kind of movement wasn't out of the ordinary for us so I was ready for anything. Anything but letting her go. Something at the back of my mind was telling me how fleeting life could be, even I couldn't outrun time. I'd been with women before, nothing ever lasted long usually because I got bored or due to the way I lived my life, it had never fitted in with relationships. But this woman, if I had all the time in the world it probably wouldn't be enough.
Next thing I knew we were on the bed and I was kissing her like I never had before, my breath came out ragged but I couldn't stop. She returned the enthusiasm and I felt the blood boil in my veins. This was what being consumed by fire had to feel like.
I pulled off my t-shirt and closed my eyes as her usually cool skin burned against mine. The hand that wasn't holding me up found the edge of her top and slowly eased it up over her head. I traced the curve of her waist with my thumb and could feel the toned muscles of her stomach under my touch. She chuckled against my mouth and hooked both her legs around me pulling me down to the mattress. I been doing my best to keep myself up with only one arm to stop my body crushing her, but I didn't have to worry about that because she just rolled over on top of me instead. My hands ran down the her spine feeling the dimples at the base of her back.
Blake's quick breath on my neck made me open my eyes. Her head was resting in the crook of my neck so her lips were right next to my ear. "I know you, something's wrong." she whispered and pulled back to look into my eyes. She took one of my hands from her back and laced her fingers with mine. "It's ok, you can tell me." she said leaning back down and giving me a quick kiss.
I let my breathing return to normal and resisted the urge to grab her again. How mad would she be if I didn't answer at all, I'd much rather carry on what we'd been doing but the look in her eyes told me I wasn't going to get away with that.
"I can't explain it." I replied honestly not knowing what else to say.
"Try." she said running her hand over my chest. I tried to focus on something else but was finding it very difficult, how was I supposed to concentrate when she was sat on top of me practically half naked.
"This" I said looking away and moving our entwined fingers "I've never had it before. I don't know what to expect. I'm used to being ten steps in front of everyone else. Now I feel like I'm trying to catch up, and I don't like that I can't." I'd let out a lot more words than I expected
"You don't have to be so quick all the time, it's ok to take things as they come." she said smiling "Try living like the rest of us for a change."
"It's not that." I said feeling like no matter what I said I couldn't make her understand. Steve's voice echoed in my head and I remembered his words about losing someone you loved. "It's you, I can't let you slip away." I said
Her smile faded slightly and I saw sadness in her eyes "You're trying to cram a whole life in before you've lived it. You can't do that Pietro, you'll never see the world." she took in a breath and carried on "We didn't fall for each other in a split second remember? Things like that take time; which we have."
I thought about that. When we'd first met I'd known we had chemistry but to begin with she'd thought I was arrogant and quick-tempered, and I'd thought she was too defensive and unpredictable. It didn't take long for me to realise it was all a front to protect herself, but the more I got to know her the more unsure I'd felt I could break those walls down. It turned out she was just as unsure of me because she thought I wasn't serious about her. After we realised that we were both being idiots all that went away, now I knew I'd never been so serious about anything in my life.
I sat up and rested my hand on her hot cheek "Yesterday I thought you'd run out of time. That's what I mean, this job we do, we could be here one second gone the next. I can't wake up one day without you and realise I wasted a single moment."
Her eyes grew very bright and she put her hands on either side of my neck smiling slightly. "I love you Pietro but the thing is, if we live our lives on fast forward, we'll get to the end a heck of a lot faster than we should."
I let my head drop, she had me there. Was that my only option? I didn't know how to do things slowly, I never had. I felt her fingers under my chin and lifted my face.
"What brought this on?" she asked me
I chuckled quietly "Besides the obvious." I said smoothing out the plaster on her head "I had a talk with Rogers."
She sighed knowingly "He told you about Peggy?" I nodded "You know, if neither of us gets frozen for seventy years I think we'll do just fine."
I laughed then "I'm not planning on it."
She pulled me back onto the sheets and I rolled over so I was looking down at her. "We are both wearing too many clothes."
"So true." she laughed and I kicked off my trainers. We heard a strange swishing noise behind us as they hit something. She poked her head round my arm and I saw slight shock on her face.
"There something you wanna tell me?" she said laughing nervously. I looked at her confused and turned round. Hanging on the wardrobe were two clear bags. One held a long green dress and the other a blue and grey suit.
"What the-" I said panicking slightly and pushing myself up.
She sat up as well and moved to the end of the bed opening the dress bag "It's beautiful" she said smiling and running her hand down the fabric
"I didn't-" I started not wanting her to get the wrong idea
"Oh calm down, there's a note." she grinned at me and pulled it off. I moved next to her and read it over her shoulder.
You and your team have been asked to attend a charity event with city leaders to discuss situations involving the Avengers. Since large amounts of property and infrastructure have been destroyed in the past by the team and other members, we would appreciate any effort to convince people that The Initiative is worth fighting for. Please find attached suitable attire.
"You have got to be kidding me." we said at the same time
"I'm pretty sure all I broke this year was someone's arm. Oh and a lab, and a few walls in the training room. But that's it." she said attaching the note back to the bag. I felt a guilty look cross my face and she gave me a suspicious stare "What did you do?"
"I'll tell you later." I said evasively. I was pretty sure I'd totalled a few S.W.A.T cars last month.
She kissed me on the cheek and got to her feet to examine the bags. After a quick look she pulled out a pair a tall black heels.
"Ha I don't think so." she placed them back in the bag and looked at my suit. I cringed.
"Hmm I've never seen you in a suit." she said looking it up and down
"That's because I've never worn one." I said looking back at it sceptically "I'm not wearing it."
She smiled back at me amused "I don't think you have a choice."
I rolled my eyes "Yours is not so bad." I said imagining the colour next to her soft skin and bright eyes "Hey wait, I've barely seen you in a dress either."
"That is so weird" she said chuckling "I wear them all the time." I detected a sarcastic hint in her voice and raised my eyebrows "Great so this is going to be severely uncomfortable for both of us."
I felt something vibrate in my pocket and pulled out my phone. It was Wanda, I took a moment to answer.
"Pietro?" she said in a very quiet voice
"Yes, why are you whispering?" I asked holding my hand to my ear so I could hear her better.
"Steve is in the next room with Natasha. Some agents found Chris a mile from the base." I looked up at Blake and she gave me a questioning look. "He was bled out pretty bad, passed out in the woods. Get Blake, I'll let you on the jet. We're going to get him now. I have to go." The line went dead.
"What is it?" asked Blake looking worried
"They found Chris a mile away from the Hydra base, he was unconscious in the woods."
Her face dropped and a saw fire blaze in her eyes "Where is he?"
"They're going to get him. If we leave now Wanda will let us on the jet." I'd barely finished talking when she began getting dressed again. I pulled on my shirt and looked back at the empty bed. She wasn't the only one who wanted to kill Chris now. She moved to my side and I pulled her up instinctively.
"We'll pick this up later." she said and pressed her lips against mine. I smiled and dashed out of the room. We made it to the jet just as the doors were closing. I saw Wanda force it open again with her magic and we slipped in. She held a finger to her lips and pointed to the cock pit. Natasha and Steve were sitting in the front taking softly. Blake moved to a chair and sat down. I pulled Wanda aside and saw her face was quite pale.
"What happened?" I asked quietly
"We got a call a few minutes ago saying they found Chris in a perimeter sweep before they left. He was bleeding all over." she paused and Blake grabbed her hand.
"Did he have the veils of my blood on him?" she asked and my eyes widened as I glanced at Wanda.
"No." she said shaking her head "And it looks like someone beat him half to death to take it."