Okay, my first vignette from "As You Are", the series of shorts that goes hand in hand with my fic, "A Love Story"; this is the first and begins the morning before he proposes, and I cracked up repeatedly writing this. If you need help connecting it to LS, not that I think you will, my brilliant readers, just drop a review. Without further ado… vignette one: The Stalk

The Stalk

Kendall Hart, daughter of infamous Prima Donna Erica Kane, knew she was being watched. In her bed head and a long fuzzy blue robe, not caring how cold her feet were on the winter ground, she stared at the apartment across from her own, blazing blue eyes, well… blazing.

The apartment, owned and occupied by casino owner Zach Slater, actually born Alexander Cambias Jr., was the object of her silent wrath. The blinds were closed, not a bare touch of light illuminating them and the fresh light of dawn didn't help all that damn much. The bastard was watching her! She could sense him, a kind of psychic slime that slid down her spine as the seconds ticked past.

Her eyes narrowed further and, if looks could kill, the apartment would by now resemble the ruins of Hiroshima. Her body was buzzing a desperate instruction in her brain to get in her place, under blankets or under hot water and warm herself… to stop freezing out her just to get the chance to kick his pompous ass.

Finally, as she shifted, an edge of morning warmth fell over her and, so focused on the door that she let out a yelp when a plastic-covered roll of newspaper whacked her in the back. Letting out a savage hiss of "fuck!" she scooped up the paper and flung it, furiously, at his door, spinning and finally following her body's instructions… until she heard the sound.

And there he was, the bastard himself, on his front step, paper in hand and… in a pair of drawstring slacks and nothing else, he notices her and the evil, son-of-a-bitch glint filled the hazel depths of his eyes. Grinning, flashing white teeth that reminded her of a caged panther, he laughed and the sound made her cringe inwardly.

Raising the paper in a silent salute, he gave her a bright shout of "Good morning, Ms. Hart. Pleasant day, isn't it?"

Before she could raise her jaw from the cement, he was gone, chuckling quietly. She stood there, beginning to shiver, stunned speechless, feeling a bit punch-drunk, she stared at the shut door. Had to be the cold, she decided as she stalked furiously back into her place… had to be the cold that made her feel dumb… not stupid Zach's stupid chest…

Two hours later, dressed, hair perfected, she stood, once again, trying to figure out how to beat him to death with that stupid paper… it was already bruising, the flesh darkening and swelling slightly. Kendall tapped her bag against one palm, her anger growing with each steady, muffled whack. Maybe she should blow up his car, make it stick this time?

She needed to get to work, she knew that, but all she could do was stand there and seethe, hoping that he would die a grisly death sometime today. Yeah, grisly death… gruesome… and… ugly and hopefully very painful. God, she hated muttering mentally. Okay, did she really want Greens to send Simone out here?

The thought was enough to shake off her childish hate and she finally angrily spun on her heel and slunk off, heading to her car, looking every part the insulted feline, right down to the bristling and spitting.

He'd had no idea how sharp her sixth sense was… but she had known that he was watching her, hadn't she? After she'd stomped off that morning, all but frozen to the ground, he'd stopped his watch just long enough to shower and dress before taking his seat back and continuing his stalking.

Finally, Hart left, and his man on the outside informed him that she was actually officially gone. In a dark tan suit, grinning despite himself at the fun he was having, scooped up the file and left his place, the box in his pocket, actually fucking whistling! This was like the best of Poker he'd ever played!

When Simone noticed Kendall making that low noise in her throat at her fifth mention of her latest date, the smaller woman went rapidly pale, closed her mouth and fled the office, mumbling about "picking up fresh coffee from South America". Greenlee was already gone, and if Kendall wasn't so pissed, she'd have been more curious. Later, she'd think about it and come rather close to the truth, but now…

In the blessed quite of the office, Kendall drummed her fingernails across the table, glaring right through the computer screen, and she thought it was a miracle that the fire shooting from her pristine gaze wasn't incinerating the screen into a shapeless mass of plastic and metal… hey, it'd resemble her love life!

The ding of the elevator wasn't what frightened her… it was the touch of light cologne that she picked up because, hey, she was a Kane, damn it and Kanes knew the smell of cologne… wait, did Bianca pick up perfume instead? No… that thought didn't matter, not really, because she recognized that stench… Slater!

Jumping to her feet, she spun, resembling a ballerina on caffeine, wide eyes focusing in on the rich guy standing there, smiling brightly, and she cringed when he gave a pleasant little wave and a chuckle of "Do you want chicken or fish at our blessed event, my soon-to-be Mrs… which do you like better? Mrs. Slater or Mrs. Hart-Slater?"