Author: Shaye Vespertine PM
Revenge is a dish best served cold and Loki has gotten exceedingly good at it. He still has a score to settle with Iron Man for what happened in New York. The plan? To strike at Tony's heart - via Pepper Potts, of course. Revenge motivates like nothing else; and this tale is far from over.Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Romance - V. Potts/Pepper & A. E. Stark/Tony - Chapters: 11 - Words: 50,876 - Reviews: 86 - Favs: 44 - Follows: 62 - Updated: 10-20-12 - Published: 02-15-12 - id: 7840079
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN:Okay, so it's been far too long since my last update, and I am very sorry for it; you gotta be patient with me. Thank you for continued readership and support, for leaving reviews and favouring this story - I love you all back! :)
This is the actual chapter itself - for those who have already read chapter four, read it again because that was just a snippet!
Look for the next chapter in the next few days!
Once again, I wanted to thanks those who left reviews, I was very happy that you did. And Gigi, it's nice to see that you're still here reading this fic! ;)
As for Abbey Lee: I'm not going to give too much away, but you can set your mind at ease, and carry on reading this story because the ending will not be what you expect! Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
*Chapter four: A tale of sound and fury*
Running out of alibi
On the second of May
Reminds me of the summertime
On this winter day
Every step we take that's synchronized
Reminds me of the second time
That I followed you home
As you're walking away
Reminds me that it's killing time
On this fateful day
See you at the bitter end
From the time we intercepted
Feels a lot like suicide
Arouse and see you're mine
See you at the bitter end
- 'The bitter end' by Placebo
Trent Mason packed up his stuff that evening and left the Stark Enterprises New York Division building at exactly ten minutes past eight. It was a balmy night and the streets were teeming with people out to have a good time.
He easily navigated the traffic downtown and parked close to his favourite lounge on 17th Street, slapped the bouncer's shoulder in greeting and then headed towards the bar. He sank onto the stool and ordered his usual. The lounge was pretty much packed already, and he waved to a few people, all regulars he saw every week. Gulping his drink felt great after the stressful day he'd had at the office. Things had been pretty hectic in recent months at Stark Enterprises, and being one of three of the CEO's personal assistants ensured that he was always on his toes.
Trent had asked his fellow colleagues, the other two PAs, if they would join him for a couple of drinks after work, but none could accept. He wished he could talk to someone, but his best pal was out of town, and even his girlfriend wasn't available.
Trent felt conflicted. He looked down at his drink pensively. He'd worked hard to get to where he was now, years of studying and then years of working in one company and then another, wondering when his break would come – until finally it landed right onto his lap. As soon as he'd heard that Stark Industries was in the process of changing management with the newly appointed Pepper Potts rising to take up the CEO spot, he'd thought he'd try his luck, and applied for an interview as PA. Three weeks later, he and two very friendly ladies who were smart and assertive made up the base to the helm directing the company. Miss Potts ran everything smoothly, with class and a quietly understated power that ensured good things to come.
He wondered if, had his parents and little brother been alive, they would have been proud of what he had achieved. He'd put all his efforts and energy into his career, but had very little to show for these years, except for an immaculate and well-rounded CV.
His thoughts wandered to Kelly, the girl he had been dating for the past two years, and who he was pretty much certain that he was in love with.
Thus his conflicted feelings.
He and Kelly had been going steady for a while, and though they had not explicitly spoken of it, their commitment to each other was solid. Except that Kelly had been offered a dream job, THE dream job she had been working hard to get all her life. And it involved her moving out ofNew York City. ToSidney,Australia.
Trent was very happy working under Miss Potts, and he'd made friends at the office too. But he didn't know what to do. Kelly had made it clear that she too didn't know what would be the best decision to make, because she couldn't make up her mind about going. Trent didn't want to hold her back since she had dreamed of this all her life, but neither did he think they were ready for a long-distance relationship. So what should he do? Let Kelly go and support her dream, the way she'd supported his, and hope things worked? Or leave everything he had built for himself here and follow her to the other side of the world, where they could be together but he had no idea about where to start looking for a job?
He needed time to think about this, and since she would be working till late tonight, he'd made a detour to the bar. Maybe he'd find the answers in the bottom of a pint glass…
Then his phone rang and Trent smiled as he saw the caller ID.
He pushed the 'talk' button and grinned as he spoke. "Hey Lukas, how's it going?"
'Lukas' quickly spoke into his phone. "Yes that would be nice. Where are you? 17th Street…blue sign – ohh, yes! I know which one you mean. I'll be there shortly."
He hung up and walked over to the mirror opposite to his bed. He checked to see if his appearance was sharp and neat, then quickly stepped out of the house. Bobby - the annoying child he should have squashed at least a dozen times under his boot - was watching him leave the house from his bedroom window, he knew, but didn't bother turning around.
He ducked into the darkened alley and vanished, only to reappear a small wayaway from the location. He quickly crossed the street and easily side-stepped the bouncer, gaining entry to the bar. His eyes glittered as he spotted his friend, and had anybody seenhis smile they might have noticed it was disturbingly sinister.
They greeted each other and the taller man sat down on a stool next toTrent, ordering his own drink. They chatted amiably for a while, but Lukas was a great observer, and he could tell that something was bothering the man.
"So what troubles you, my friend?"
Trentglanced up at one of the bar screens and sighed deeply. "Kelly finally got the promotion she's been waiting for. And if she accepts, she'll have to go toAustralia." His tone was dejected.
Then he looked at his friend. "I just don't know what to do, y'know? I can't let her not take this job just because I don't want us to be apart … but if she went … I mean, I too worked hard to get to where I am now, y'know, it wasn't easy to get this job at Stark Enterprises. I'm just so torn."
His companion patted his arm sympathetically, (but his smile was insincere.)
"I can understand that you're in quite the predicament, my friend, but it isn't as bad as it all seems. You simply have to stop and think for a moment. What are your priorities? Is it your career, or to be with your girlfriend, no matter where that takes you? Once you've figured that out, making a choice will be straight-forward."
Trent nodded somberly. "Wow. Yeah, you're absolutely right." He gulped down more alcohol with a grimace. "I just wish I knew what the right thing was."
Lukas squeezed his shoulder. "Do you want to hear what I really think?"
Trent blinked at him as Lukas leaned closer to him. "Of course."
Lukas grinned. His voice was slippery smooth and warm as oil, persuasive and utterly convincing. "If I had a woman like Kelly by my side, devoted to me as she is to you, for whom I felt such a degree of emotion, I would not let her get away for anything in the world. Even if that meant letting go of something I had worked hard to achieve."
Trent was silent for a while, pondering this new point of view. It made sense; he'd gotten where he was through skill and tenacity, but Kelly was one of a kind.
He smiled at Lukas and patted his back appreciatively, feeling powerful relief that now everything was worked out. "Thanks man. You don't know how much this means to me. I guess now all that's left to do is tell Kelly the good news, and then resign from Stark Enterprises."
Lukas smiled back and Trent ordered them another round. They raised their glasses to each other. "To prosperity and following your heart!" said Trent.
Lukas' smile was large, all white gleaming teeth and unreadable eyes. "To new beginnings, and achieving what you want. To hard work, and the rewards that come as fruit of one's labour."
They both downed their drinks, and since Trent was feeling so merry, they ordered another round. And then another. And another.
When they exited the bar it was well after eleven that night. Trent was grinning and feeling the drunken man's euphoria, and Lukas too was all smiles, though his gait was measured and graceful despite the large amounts of alcohol he had consumed.
"Lukas my man, this will be a night to remember!" Trent searched drunkenly in his pockets for his phone, wanting to take a picture of both him and his friend, but came up empty.
He stopped walking, and immediately swayed lightly on the spot, frowning. "Oh hell! I think I left my phone in there. I better go back."
His companion stepped forward to go after him, but at that precise moment a couple of mean-faced guys blockedTrent's path, menacing in their intent.
"That's a mighty fine suit you're wearing. Bet it cost an eye, too. Give us your fucking wallet, asshole!"
Trent blinked and stepped away from them, alarmed. One of the thugs grabbed his arms and stopped him. He tried shaking them off, but to no avail. "Hey, let me go!"
"Not until you give us your wallet motherfucker! And that nice wristwatch, too. Now LOSE IT!"
Trent struggled and craned his head back. "Lukas! HELP!" he shouted.
Lukas hesitated, weighing his options. He sighed and stepped backwards until he blended in with the shadows, becoming invisible. He watched the scene unfolding, and stood his ground.
"HEY! Get off'amme! Lukas! LUKAS! Help me!"
The thugs pummelled Trent and he doubled over, coughing and desperately gasping for breath, unable to defend himself under the barrage of haymakers and power kicks delivered to his sides and stomach.
"I said give us your money BITCH!"
Trent wheezed and groaned in pain as he staggered off his feet and curled up on the cold wet ground, trying to protect himself as much as he could.
"Dude grab his wallet!" One of the thugs ripped his wallet out of his pants, and the other snagged his wristwatch, ferocious in their attacks as they continued pummelling him. By now Trent had lost consciousness and lay still. There were plenty of nasty cuts on his head and his face leaked with rivulets of blood and swelled from all the punches, distorting his features.
Lukas watched on, and smirked in amusement. They'd practically beaten him to a pulp.
Having finished taking Trent's valuables, the two guys straightened and stared down at him for a moment. "Come on let's get outta here, man!" They sniggered, one of them gaveTrenta last kick for good measure, and ran towards the alley's exit, disappearing out of sight.
Lukas stepped out of the shadows and stared down at the pitiful heap that was Trent. He walked towards him and kneeled next to him, looking him over with curiosity. His voice was low and he spoke steadily, as this was none of his concern. "Oh, what a shame. You really should learn how to defend yourself, my man. They practically wiped the floor with you." Lukas chuckled.
"Hmm. And it had been such a good night, too. I hadn't expected such entertainment, but then you people have a way of being surprising that's actually quite refreshing."
Lukas extended his hand and lightly prodded Trent's shoulder, as though poking a curious insect that had gone belly-up, head tilted slightly to the side, lips pursed in thought.
"Then again …" And now Lukas spoke more to himself, knowing that Trent couldn't hear him or even feel his presence. "Perhaps this unexpectedend to the evening may just work in my favour. Yes!"
Lukas' eyes gleamed as he considered the situation. "You know Trent, I have been very busy myself as of late, trying to reach a personal goal that is particularly close to my heart. And you, my friend, may have just given me gaining grounds the likes of which you cannot even fathom!"
This was perfect, Lukas thought. "You see, it all works fantastically well. Let's face it, you're not exactly fit to get up and stagger home, never mind plan your future at Stark Enterprises and your life with your chit of a woman. It seems like such a waste, not taking advantage of this."
Lukas' voice lowered as he spoke to himself, formulating a plan. "Yes, yes…this is most advantageous. And after all, it's not as if it is my fault, what happened to you; I had nothing to do with your assault. But then … ha! People don't need to know you're you, do they?"
Lukas touched his fingertips to Trent's beaten up face. The features, already irregular and swollen from the multiple traumas, shifted and changed entirely. Then the colour of Trent's hair changed, and so on, until his own body looked like that of another's, shorter and more lean. He no longer looked like Trent Mason.
Satisfied with his handiwork, Lukas removed his hand from the man's flesh and wiped his bloodied fingers fastidiously on the guy's jacket. He stood up and contemplated the male before him with satisfaction.
"Now for the finishing touches…" Lukas grabbed a hold of the man's arm, twisted round, and both vanished.
When he reappeared, Lukas was standing in the cover of some trees, a hospital entrance in front of him. He dumpedTrent's body where the streetlights bathed him in their orange glow, and then vanished out of sight.
He reappeared in front of Rumors, but his own appearance had morphed.
He now looked exactly like Trent Mason. With a sure smirk, he entered the bar again, and when he came out, he was clutching Trent's phone in his hand. He scrolled through contacts until he reached the one he wanted. With a gleeful smile, he called Trent's girlfriend, and broke up with her, telling her that she could go on to Sydney without him. He supposed he'd been a little brutal in the things he'd said, things he'd felt would be justified because there was no other way to make the woman high-tail it out the country with a broken heart… but he didn't really care. When he was done, he barked out a triumphant laugh and then jauntily made his way back to Samantha's house. No one would never be any the wiser that Trent had actually been assaulted and was now probably lying in some hospital bed fighting for his life, whilst looking like another man entirely.
As for Lukas, he now looked exactly like Trent Mason, and he planned to take over his life as well.
Beginning with Trent's job at Stark Enterprises.
Lukas-now-Trent felt something expand within his chest. Thanks to this unforeseen stroke of luck, Lukas now had access to the comings and goings of Tony Stark and his Pepper Potts, up-close and personal. Tomorrow he would leave Samantha's house for good and go live inTrent's habitation. And he would go to Stark Enterprises to work for Pepper Potts, and bide his time.
There were daggers in his smile.
Pepper walked briskly towards her office and greeted Evangeline and Sarah, who both picked up their planners and followed her inside. They started going through the day's activities, comparing schedules to make sure at the last minute that no changes had been made. There were meetings with the R&D department, Human Resources and even with the PR, and all of them had to be precisely carried out, because today's schedule would be a tight one.
Pepper could already feel a headache coming on.
Her assistants adjourned to their office quietly to prep the necessary folders for each meeting.
Pepper had some very important e-mails that she had to answer in person, so she got to it, and by the time she was finished, her neck and shoulders felt cramped; which coupled with the headache, was a very bad sign indeed. She pressed down on the mounting frustration inside her. Of all days, this would be the worst one for her to become incapacitated by a migraine.
She buzzed Trent on the intercom and asked him to bring her some ibuprofen. Then she paused for a few minutes, trying to relax her stiff muscles, and doing the neck exercises her chiropractor had recommended. Her computer bleeped softly. Pepper looked at the screen where a small window had popped open. It was the StarkComms system, a way for employees to message each other via their company's network. Sarah was telling her that Harper's Bazaar wanted to do a piece on Pepper as one of the most successful businesswomen of her age. Pepper told her to accept and to book it no earlier than three months from now.
Trent entered the office, carrying her painkillers and a cup of water. Pepper took them and smiled at him gratefully. "Thank you very much,Trent. Did you finish the quarterly revenue reports? The Board of Directors' meeting is next week, we need them stat."
Trent smiled and assured her that they would be finished and assembled by the end of the day.
He looked at her solicitously.
"Is there anything else I can do for you, Ms. Potts?"
Pepper was already busying herself with phone calls, so she politely dismissed him.
Trent roamed the halls, ran errands, made phone calls, answered e-mails, and even chatted for a while with some colleagues. And he studied each and every single little detail in Pepper's life at work, even the most inconsequential.
She ran like clockwork.
She was precise, efficient, smoothly commanding and had a charm, an intelligence and a charisma all her own that, coupled with her beauty and the graceful way she conducted herself, was very appealing to a great numberof men. But everyone knew by now that she was most definitely off-limits, as the boss himself had claimed her long ago.
Trent watched her (discreetly of course) most keenly, and there were many things he took note of, like for example the way her voice and tone altered in different circumstances, depending on who she spoke to. If it was an employee, it was direct, courteous and firm. If it was a business partner, it was even more courteous and charming – in fact at times she was utterly beguiling. The press, the public, other business magnates, especially those of the male variety – she dazzled them all. Everyone wanted a piece of her these days. But she wasn't the kind of person who enjoyed the limelight and didn't use it more than was necessary, Trent noticed. He found all this pleasing.
She would be a challenge to him, no doubt.
And Loki had always enjoyed a challenge.
Weeks passed with no one the wiser that someone else had taken over Trent's body and position at the company. Loki has always been a consummate actor, playing each role with perfidious flair.
And besides, these mortals, these men … what hope could they ever have against him?
But Earth was teaching him things still, and Loki did not forget that the Avengers had beaten him so utterly the last time he had gone up against them. He must take very, very great care not to alert them that he may be up to anything.
Loki didn't know if Thor had already contacted his Midgardian comrades as to his presence back on their world, but he assumed that if this had happened, Loki would have noticed being under surveillance already.
Anger simmered in his blood, dancing under his skin, wanting to burst out through his fingertips.
He hadn't forgotten Nicholas Fury, either.
But all things in good time.
That night he was the last of the personal assistants to the CEO to work late, along with the top lady herself. Having dismissedTrent's paramour, she had scampered away to that far away nation, and so he was completely free to do and go – and plot – as he pleased.
Typing away at the computer before him,Trent discreetly raised his head and spied her through the communicating open door inside her office. From what he'd seen, Pepper Potts never shied away from her work, in fact she seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. He'd found her to be a driven and dedicated individual.
Tonight she drew his gaze more than usual, and like a magnet his eyes strayed to her again and again. Her neat up-do had been discarded a while ago, and as the late afternoon drew into evening, her formal attire was shed bit by bit. Now she was sitting at her desk, working on projects and plans and meetings. Her jacket rested on the back of her chair and her arms were bare. Her long fiery red hair was still as flawless as it had been this morning on her arrival to the building. Her hands were tireless and constantly in motion. They were small, feminine and utterly capable.
Trent watched her intently.
She tucked a strand of her hair behind her ear as she brought her handset closer, speaking quietly. Her voice was very soothing. It had a quality to it that made Trent treacherously think of his mother, the lady Frigga. He didn't know what possible similarities there could be between such two women, though: one, a Queen and Lady Consort to the All-faðr of Ásgarðr, and the other a mere mortal woman.
She was organizing next week's inter-departmental meetings. Her legs were crossed under her desk, and her feet were encased in high-heeled shoes that paid homage to elegant expanse of her graceful limbs. As she spoke, now and again Pepper swung her foot in small arcs, drawing distracted figures in the stared at that foot, seeing the shapely ankle and the small toes peeking out up front. He inhaled slowly and deeply.
Pepper replaced the handset and picked up her pen again. She stretched her neck and brought a hand up to massage a shoulder. This did things to her bust and collar bones which Trent did not fail to catch. His fingers sought and found a bracelet on his wrist that had been given to both him and Thor when they were children. His fingertips delicately traced the smooth lines of the runes and etchings carved on the smoothly cold surface.
Pepper continued to lightly stimulate her shoulder, and a small sound escaped her lips as her eyes closed. Trent shifted in his seat.
He quickly went back to typing again, keeping up the farce that he was still working. The silence in the office was thick and had a comfortable finality to it, as though it could not be broken. Pepper got up off her seat and walked to one of the cabinets in her office. She pulled out a large folder and returned with it to her desk, consulting the pages inside. The dimmed lights formed a small yellow halo on the crown of her head. They made her white blouse ever so slightly transparent, revealing the support she wore underneath it. Trent cocked his head to one side slightly, and his eyes narrowed as he continued looking at her. She stood tall, but he could see her leaning more on her desk for support and her feet shifted almost constantly.
Trent knew this meant that after a long day, the fatigue was catching up with her. As these were some of the moments she usually let her guard down and was more vulnerable, he had observed her most keenly.
During these weeks of studying her character and learning her schedule and habits, committing everything to memory, Loki had still not understood one thing. He had never liked to be boggled by something. Ever since he was a child, he had been used to studying things until he understood exactly how and why they worked until he knew them inside out – a useful feat for a trickster.
But this woman amongst many others, he simply did not understand.
At first, Loki had believed her to be a little like himself. She was in a position of power, and ran a small empire. She was a ruler. Loki too had been born to be a ruler. But he had always had a hunger inside him, and it had grown and grown, a beast that had threatened to engulf him entirely. There was no such hunger in this woman that Loki could see. She had reached her position and maintained a strong hand easily, enjoying it, but not seemingly driven by the need he felt to take and take. Veni, vidi, vinci. I came, I saw, and I conquered. The Romans had had a real flair for elegance despite their war-mongering ways.
She wasn't a conqueror.
But still, she was adored by her loyal subjects, and they all gathered about her, these busy little bees, and she guided them all with a wave of her hand, a small inclination of her head. She was a queen of men. Her edicts resonated through this small empire and reached out into the market, shaping it and changing it at will.
Loki had always wanted this. And he was darkly jealous of her, because she was low, lower than nothing to a god like Loki, and yet she had this power he had always wanted, but never truly had.
This mortal, this faint impression of life upon the endless flux of the Cosmos, she too stood bathed in a light he had never known.
He ground his jaws together as he looked at her, beautiful and oblivious bathed in the dim lights that so becomingly caressed her form.
But it would all come to an end for her soon. He simply needed to bide his time until the opportune moment came.
There were footsteps out in the hallway leading to her office. Irritated, Trent raised his head a bit more to see the newcomer.
But for some reason, in the moment that preceded the newcomer's arrival upon the threshold of Pepper's office, where he would soon be visible in the other room, Trent glanced at her again.
She looked up from the pages she'd been frowning over, and the quick change in expression that lit up her face was a gale of force that stole his breath from his lungs.
Pepper's frown smoothed out and unmistakeable pleasure fairly shined from her eyes when she noticed who was about to come into her office. Her red lips stretched into a happy smile, and she just about dropped everything, and came to stand in front of her desk.
Trent then quickly swivelled his head to see who had entered her office – but really, his suspicions needed only confirming.
And indeed they were confirmed.
The silhouette of Tony Stark blocked his vision for a couple of seconds, and then he swept forward. From his vantage point, Trent could see their profiles. They were both smiling at each other, looking like love-struck children. Pathetic.
Pepper took two steps forward, meeting Stark halfway, but that was all she had room for, for he reached her in the next second and then they were in each other's arms. Trent scowled, but then quickly smoothed it out and schooled his expression into a bland, uninterested mask.
"What are you doing here? Are you by yourself?"
Pepper spoke quietly once she had drawn back a little in order to look at Stark, a small smile still on her face. Stark, for his part, as he was wont to do nearly every time, swept his heated gaze quickly all over her face, and settled his hands on her hips, keeping her close.
His gaze was wholly appreciative, endearing and smugly possessive; no changes on that front. Trent scowled briefly again, but then smirked lightly. Stark was entirely predictable where Pepper Potts was concerned.
"I just finished over at Shield, and called Happy to see if you were still here. Thought I'd come by and say howdy."
Pepper quirked her lips and tilted her head back slightly as she smiled in amusement at him, laughing lightly.
"Howdy Ms. Potts, you done running this circus of delights for tonight?"
Pepper smirked lightly coyly, her eyes staring into his. "Well howdy back, Mr. Stark. As a matter of fact, I just need ten more minut-"
Stark (rudely) cut her off. He made a sound reminiscent of those alarm-like shrieks on the tv shows Samantha watched every night, where someone would answer a question, and it would be the incorrect answer. Trent rolled his eyes inwardly.
"Uh-uh, wrong answer. We are in fact going to collect your belongings Ms. Potts, and you will then happily trot hanging onto my arm as we make our way towards my vehicle, from which we will proceed to go home. And, like, do stuff."
Stark smirked winningly at her, trying to be adorable.
Trent stared at him with mild disgust. Was he, the God of Mischief, truly planning to go up against this, this – child? For a moment he wondered at that. It might be like butting heads with that foul boy, Bobby. Utterly enjoyable to squash under his heel, but not really worth his time, surely!
Evidently Pepper thought there would be no harm in indulging his whims tonight, for that is exactly what she did. She brought her hands to link behind his neck, caressing his hair and nape gently, all the while looking at him tenderly. Trent's eyes glittered malevolently.
"Trotting is definitely out of the question, yes to the drive home … and to everything else. Would that be all?"
Stark smiled at her – one of his rare smiles, the ones he truly meant – and spoke again, his tone clearly amused. "Thereabouts. For now. Let's hustle outta here."
He quickly leaned in and gave her a resounding kiss, to which she happily participated.
They broke apart. Stark got her jacket and bag, whilst Pepper tidied her desk and turned off the computer.
Trent supposed now was the time in which he had to make an appearance, as a dutiful assistant. He walked into her office through the connecting door and lightly cleared his throat.
He clasped his hands in front of him in a relaxed pose. "Ms. Potts."
Pepper looked at him. "Yes, Trent? Is everything coming along?"
"Yes ma'am, I'll be done tonight, and place the reports on your desk tomorrow morning. Is there anything else you would like for me to do for you before you leave for the night, ma'am?"
Pepper smiled at him. "Oh that's all right Trent, you don't have to hand those report in to me until mid-morning, so you too may go home now, if you wish. Also –"
Again Stark interrupted her, and this time he spoke to Trent directly.
"Yeah yeah yeah – listen Kurt would you give Happy a quick ring to let him know he can go for the night, I'd appreciate it, buddy."
The sneer of arrogance – and dismissal – thoroughly irritated him. But he had to be very careful of his reactions and behaviour right now. He had a role to play. He could be utterly his true self later. And he had just been reminded that yes, indeed: all of this was worth his time. Stark needed to be put back into his place; preferably at Loki's feet.
He pasted a polite smile on his face and nodded at what Stark had just told him. He heard Pepper quietly chiming Stark for his rude behaviour, looking at her lover with mild disapproval. "His name is Trent, not Kurt. And please be nice to my staff, Tony." She looked at Trent again, and smiled apologetically. "Trent, thank you for all you've done tonight. I couldn't have finished without your assistance, I truly appreciate you staying late to help me. Have a good night, we'll talk about those reports tomorrow."
Trent bowed his head slightly in her direction. "Very well, ma'am, and good night to you both."
He quickly looked at Stark, who was slightly annoyed at her rebuke and clearly impatient for him and her to go. The strongly resisted the urge to silently challenge him with his eyes. There would be time for many, many things later, when he had them both right where he wanted them.
The couple swept out of the office and he returned to his own, straightening things.
They chatted quietly on their way out, and Pepper laughed for the first time that day. Trent furtively looked out into the corridor at their retreating backs, their hands entwined, keeping a leisurely pace with one another.
He clenched his fists, and the bitter gall of fury swamped the inside of his mouth, feeding his hunger for a taste of revenge.
So Stark thought himself great, did he?
Well soon he would have greatness snapping at his heels.
They would never see him coming.
Now Loki knew what he had to do.
Okay, so if you're confused, here's a little explanation. Loki now lives on Earth and has managed to make a life for himself, going by the name of 'Lukas'.
This will be the last that we see of Trent for a while, probably, because in the next chapter, things are gonna *happen*. I'm promising a sweet ride, so check back in the next few days! ;)
Please leave me a comment to tell me what you think, I wholly embrace anything my readers have said so far!