Author's note: This was written for 15minuteficlets over at LJ. It's my first Witchblade fic, plus it's been some time since I've seen so many of the episodes, so please let me know if there's something I should change. It would be set in season 1, near Thanatopis. Hope you enjoy, please review.

Disclaimer: I don't own, please don't sue. Savvy?

UNGUARDED MOMENT

He watched her. All the time he watched her. He could barely take his eyes off her. He wanted her. He shouldn't want her. He loved her. He wasn't supposed to love her.

He did though. Every second, deep inside, he loved her. But he wouldn't allow himself to feel it, or at least he tried. But often he failed. He would look at her as she laid in bed, as she walked down the street, as she ran after her suspect, as she hunted her target, as she defied Irons. He would look at her, and he would fall.

It was impossible not to. It was impossible for him to stop looking at her this way, even though he should, even though it was tearing him apart inside, even though it would kill him slowly, consume him and destroy him.

He loved her. He knew, he knew he had to stop. He just couldn't.

She was beautiful and wild, a magnificent, powerful woman. She didn't need the mystical weapon that she carried to give her the fire and strength in her eyes, the determination to bring about justice, the firm, stubborn will that could only be broken by a certain few and only when she deemed them worthy.

She hadn't deemed him worthy. It stung him, it tore at him, but he lived on and accepted the pain. He was used to pain. Though this pain that she gave him was different, stronger and more lethal than the other forms he had experienced. It stayed with him, like a dagger made of ice that never was pulled out of his chest, merely stayed lodged in.

It was painful, yet he carried it just as she carried the Witchblade. In a strange way, he wanted it. It gave him pain, and he tried to focus on it, tried to remind himself that he would never get anything else from her but the pain.

He tried to make himself realize that loving her would bring nothing but this frozen pain.

Ian Nottingham closed his eyes and turned away from Sara Pezzini, leaving her alone in her apartment, completely unaware of what had happened inside her unseen guardian's mind.