Abby gave a sigh as she tore her gaze away from the older man's slender frame. Truth was, he intrigued her. Her eyes wandered back to where he stood next to Cutter, taking in the picture of him.

Soft, dark hair that was just begging to have fingers raking through it, thick, black lashes rimming too-blue eyes that blinked every five to six seconds, one long finger rubbing pensively over the smooth skin of his jaw line (that still had been darkened by stubble the day before but had now returned to its former close-shaven self) as he pondered over whatever question Cutter had asked him.

The white shirt clinging to his lithe body, effectively highlighting every ridge of muscle, opened just wide enough to reveal the just right amount of fine hair and defined collarbone as his forehead creased into a frown, one hand coming up to scratch the back of his head, the tracker probably wondering whether they were actually getting to the bottom of their problem or if they were just side-tracked by some minor detail. Yap, he definitely intrigued her.

Blue met blue when their eyes locked for a brief moment through the glass separating them, a flicker of a smile ghosting over his lips before he returned his attention back to the task at hand.

It was always like that. Fleeting moments, playful, sometimes even flirty banter, holding on to him when she was scared, celebrating success with hugs that never lingered long enough for her liking and almost-kisses prevented by future predators. He just had something about him that never managed to cease her fascination, no matter how hard she tried.

Abby never got close enough to see the man behind the confident, skilful exterior, never was let in close enough to break through the facade, let alone the concrete castle he seemed to have built around his heart. Something always stopped her, whether it was temporary amnesia, a dubious girlfriend, her own pride and stubbornness, Connor or a predator ready to pounce them in the perfect moment.

"Earth to Abby... hey, you're still with me?"

Abby blinked a few times when she finally registered Connor's hand waving in front of her eyes, a somewhat amused expression plastered on his face as brown eyes searched her face for some kind of reaction.

"Sorry, must have totally zoned out... you were saying?"

Her eyes still remained fixed on the tall brunet deep in conversation with Cutter when Connor rambled on about something random that sounded suspiciously like comic book talk again.

There just had to be a way for her to get through to him, to let him know it was okay to let her in. He liked her, that much she knew, he cared about her and protected her whenever she was in trouble. And although they had been so close to overstepping the border of just being friends and colleagues to being something... more, it never actually happened due to the most infuriating of interferences.

Was it really too much to ask to feel his lips touching hers in the softest of kisses just once?

"He has a girlfriend, you know that..."

Once again Connor's voice broke into her thoughts, his eyes following hers to rest upon the object of her desire.

With a sigh she turned her back on everything behind the thick layer of glass separating him from her, the windowpane almost too much of an symbol for that something that let them be close yet always not close enough, the barrier parting them when they were so near.

"Thanks Con, I know..."

She didn't bother to correct him about the girlfriend she knew was no longer in the picture. Busying herself with reading some random piece of paper Abby pushed all thoughts about Stephen aside.

Stephen Hart. Tracker. Hunter. Protector. Her Hero. He intrigued her, so what? Everyone was allowed a weak spot. If nothing came from it the next weeks, she swore herself she'd give up on it. Maybe...

Little did she know that a reason to stop her fascination was just a few hours away.