Disclaimer: I don't own any of the rights to anything Iron Man, that right goes to Marvel Studios/Comics. I don't own any of the rights to anything dealing with the Witchblade, that right goes to Top Cow Productions. The only thing I claim as mine is any original characters I created and the plot of this particular story. No copy right infringement is meant. This is for fun not for money.

Rating: T for language and a little romance.

A/N: I thought I would start this chapter out with a bang and then explain things in more detail in chapter 2. For those of you not familiar with the Witchblade series, an explanation about it will be coming up in the next chapter. I couldn't resist this crossover after seeing the Iron Man movie. This is my first Iron Man story, so I hope it goes well. It has been fun to write, so I hope it's fun to read. Please read and review. I love feedback, and it does help me improve my writing. Thanks a bunch. Anyway, please enjoy.

I'd like to add a big thanks to Nyeht, whose wonderful writing inspired this story, and her encouragement to post it is really appreciated.

- Ladyhawke Legend


Chapter 1

A Chance Meeting

Tony Stark stared at the beautiful woman in front of him, but not because of her exquisite loveliness. He had walked in on her in the middle of her attempt pilfer some of Hugh Hefner's fine jewelry and watches. She was a small and trim brunette with nice, shapely legs. The thieving woman looked back at him like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. Her eyes, he thought, were baby blue, but in the dark of the awards room, he wasn't totally sure. Her hair was up in a French twist, showing her elegant face more fully than if it had been down.

"Am I interrupting something?" he asked casually, still standing in the doorway.

The brunette had about four diamond rings in her right hand, three gold watches in her left, and a small penlight slash screwdriver in her mouth. She was dressed in a curve hugging, tight, little, black dress that was low-cut and had finger width straps. She was even wearing absurdly high heels that made her legs look long and smooth. She had some kind of black, latex type material gloves covering her hands. A flash of recognition hit Tony as he continued to stare at her; she seemed slightly familiar.

The woman didn't answer him. She appeared to pull herself together, recovering from the shock of being discovered. She was standing behind a dark wooden display case. There were four more like it placed throughout the room. Tony saw her glance to a door on the other side of the room and then to a window down to her left a little ways. She was going to try and make a run for it. Well, he would just have to stop her then, wouldn't he?

Tony didn't miss the sight of the rings, watches, and the penlight sliding swiftly into a small, sleek, black purse the stunning beauty had with her. He also noticed she herself wore a finely crafted piece of jewelry around her right wrist. It was a shiny silver bracelet, twisted into some wonderfully eye-catching design. A red ruby glimmered in the center of the piece. It struck Tony as odd that a woman wearing fine jewelry like that would be stealing petty items from Hugh Hefner. Maybe she was a disgruntled, ex-bunny sneaking in here to take back items she thought she was due from the Playboy mogul.

As Tony was musing on this, the woman made her move. She was extremely quick, but so was Tony Stark. He made it passed the display cases and to the second door a split second before the mystery woman did and blocked her escape. He reached out and grabbed her upper arms in his hands to hold her in place.

"Not a wise move, Stark," the woman hissed at him as she brought her hands and lower arms up and through his to snap his grip lose. Both the use of his name and her martial art skill surprised him. The thief used his momentary distraction against him, grabbing him by his left arm and turning with him to flip him head over heels on to his ass. She had done this with little effort, like some one who knew what they were doing, like a pro; this was no disgruntled, ex-bunny.

"I'd stay down, Stark," the woman warned him. "That is if you don't want that fine tux of yours ruined."

Instead of heeding the warning, Tony struck out at her and grabbed her left arm and flipped her head over heels and onto her back, reversing their positions. He pinned her under him, not wanting to give her another chance to strike back at him. She writhed and bucked under him, trying desperately to free herself. Luckily, they had missed the display cases, creating hardly any noise or mess.

"Get off me," she growled at him.

"Not gonna happen," he told her. When it was obvious she wasn't going to dislodge him, she finally stopped struggling. She just stared at him, her Caribbean blue eyes boring into his. A sudden warm flush rushed through him as he stared back at her. She was very attractive and she smelled delightful. Her eyes burned with a cool fire that sent tingles down his spine.

"Now," he said when he found his voice, "you know my name, but I don't know yours, which puts me at a distinct disadvantage. Before we go any further, I think I should know who you are." His words were laced with double meaning. He couldn't help himself; she was just so enchanting.

Violet Devonshire was fighting a deep-seeded panic down in the depths of herself. She had been doing everything she could in her power to avoid any contact with Tony Stark all evening, but the Witchblade on her right wrist still had found a way to get them to literally run into each other. She should have known when the Witchblade hadn't argued with her about her choice of a heist that something was wrong. Hell, it had probably planted the suggestion in her mind in the first place. And now looking into Stark's dark brown eyes, she felt she could easily get lost in them. What she saw in his eyes was not what she had been expecting. She thought she they would be hard, cold, heartless, cunning, and arrogant. Instead, they were warm, inviting, soft, kind, and full of life. This caught her completely off guard.

Being this close to him and smelling his strong, masculine cologne was making her dizzy and she knew she was holding her breathe. "Cat got your tongue?" he asked playfully.

Violet struggled to not say her name. She couldn't let him know who she really was; it was too dangerous and too tempting. "Sara," she finally blurted out the boldfaced lie, using the previous Witchblade's possessor's name instead of her own.

"Well, that's a start," Tony commented and smiled charmingly at her, lighting up his eyes even more with a soft light. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Sara," he greeted her.

Violet snorted in response. "I bet it is," she said more hostilely than she had intended.

"Do I know you?" he suddenly asked. "Did I do something to you in another life or something? What's with all this hostility towards me?" He tried to quickly scan his memory of all the women he'd been with, searching for her face. The old Tony Stark had been something of a womanizer and skirt chaser. He still had those tendencies, but his whole view of life had changed recently. He hoped she wasn't a scorned ex-lover or something; that would be very awkward. He felt he had seen her before, but where he could not say.

"It's nothing like that," Violet replied. "I just don't like you or your kind. Besides, who doesn't know you? You're all over the news almost twenty-four seven, Stark." She almost spat the words.

"My kind?" he asked feeling a little defensive and offended.

"You know the rich, irresponsible, arrogant, egotistical, playboy boy type," Violet clarified for him.

"Oh, that kind," was all Tony could say. He had been very much that type, but not anymore. Then he said, "You shouldn't judge a book by its cover."

Violet laughed scornfully at his remark. "How cliché," she scoffed. "Couldn't you come up with any better come back than that? I thought you were some kind of genius or something."

Tony fought the annoyance he felt at her condescending tone. At one time he would have deserved all that, but she had no idea what he had been through just a short time ago. "I am when it comes to building and designing things," he finally decided to say.

"Yeah, especially weapons," Violet pointed out. "So what's new 'Merchant of Death'?" She used the name some in the media had given him because of his company's business in weapons design and manufacturing.

"You know what? I don't have to take any of this crap from you, or anybody else for that matter," Tony said angrily now. "I caught you stealing from Hugh Hefner. What do you think the press will do to you when I turn you in?"

That shut Violet up right away, and she broke eye contact with him. She started to thrash against him again, wanting fiercely to get loose. He only pinned her tighter with his body weight, pressing harder into her. The more she squirmed and wiggled, the more he held on to her. She couldn't be arrested; that would be very, very bad. The man that was hunting her would find her for sure if that happened. Violet finally spoke, but very softly this time, "Please don't turn me, Stark, please."

Tony could tell her plea was earnest. He really wasn't going to call the police or Hefner's security on her, but she had managed to hit his sore spot, so he was going to see just how desperate she really was. "And what will you do for me? How will you repay me for my silence?"

Violet was having none of that, jail or no jail. "You total son of a bit--," she tried to yell at him, but a voice out in the hallway made them both freeze and silenced her. "Somebody's coming," she then whispered to Tony. "What are you going to do?" She was completely at his mercy. The damned Witchblade did not awaken to help her. It put her in this stupid situation and now it was choosing to leave her alone to deal with it – typical.

"That depends upon you, my dear," Tony told her, purposely being cryptic. The voices in the hallway grew louder and louder. Whoever it was, they were almost to the awards room door; they would be there in seconds.

Without much warning Tony stood and pulled Violet promptly to her feet. He did it with enough pull and force that it pushed him backward into one of the room's walls. Still holding onto Violet, Tony then drew her to him, his arms sliding around her waist. Before Violet could stop him, he placed his lips soundly on hers, and drew her arms around his own waist. Violet stiffened and went rigid in his embrace.

Undeterred, Tony brushed his lips across hers time and time again, not forcefully, but very, very gently. His thin and well-trimmed moustache and van dyke style beard tickling her chin and cheeks. Violet thought she would feel revulsion from so intimate a touch with Tony Stark, but she didn't; in fact, it sent spirals of desire throughout her body and made her shiver slightly. Tony took this as a favorable sign and pressed his luck by making the kiss more demanding, more heated.

The door to the awards room opened then, and a surprised female voice exclaimed, "Oh dear, sorry. We'll come back later." Tony heard the door close once again and the footsteps carried away from the room after a moment. That didn't stop him from deepening the kiss with the alluring woman in his arms, however. She was now responding most favorably to him; kissing back with equal enthusiasm and interest.

Violet felt the Witchblade stir as Stark drew her deeper into their passionate kiss. The ancient artifact gave off a very encouraging vibe for her to continue. Violet also felt the vibe pass into Stark through her. His hands slid up her bare back and pulled her closer to him. Violet could feel his warm, lean, and strong body melt into hers. The sensations it produce were very pleasurable. She let one of her gloved hands move up to run through his dark hair.

Both of them became so caught up into the moment that they didn't realize someone else had come to the awards room door and opened it. "Tony, I should have known you'd be off doing something like this," a definitely strong and male voice chastised Stark. "I'm not supposed to let you out of my sight, but the moment my back is turned for a second, you've gone after some woman. You can't do that, man."

Tony startled by this, broke the kiss and looked in the direction of the voice. "Rhodey, buddy, this isn't what it looks like, I swear," he tried to explain.

"Oh you're not making out with a beautiful brunette?" Lt. Colonel James "Rhodey" Rhodes, and Tony's best friend, queried.

Violet was shocked and horrified by her behavior. She grew angry at herself and at Stark for putting her in this position. He wasn't going to get away with it and she was out of here, like right now. Taking Tony by surprise, she pushed him hard into the wall behind him, making sure he hit his head squarely against it. His impact made a dull thudding sound, and Tony gasped at the sharp pain he felt. His vision went blurry and he collapsed to a heap on the floor.

Too shocked to react, Rhodey just stood there for a moment, stunned. Violet took the opportunity to run for the second door out of the awards room and to her freedom. She realized she had dropped her purse and scrambled to retrieve it. If she left it, everything she had gone through tonight wouldn't be worth it. Then she was gone in a matter of seconds, not daring to look back. She had to get as far from Tony Stark as she could. He had made her weak and made her cave into the woman inside her that she tried so hard to get rid of; the one that cared and felt things. She wanted to be detached from her feelings, as numb and unfeeling as possible.

From his position on the floor, Tony watched the intriguing, but dangerous woman disappear out the second door. The back of his head throbbed and pulsed painfully; damn, she had slammed him hard into the wall. He blinked trying to clear his vision and gently shook his head from side to side to make sure he was okay.

"You all right, Tony?" Rhodey asked with deep concern in his voice as he squatted down beside his friend.

"I think so," was the reply he got. "I don't think I have a concussion, but I'll have one hell of a goose egg."

Rhodey gave Stark a meaningful look. "What the hell was going on in here?" he asked.

"You know, now that I look back at it, I'm not quite sure," Tony replied genuinely puzzled.

He suddenly realized he had no idea who that fine creature was or how to find her again. He didn't like that idea, not one little bit. He still felt she was familiar, but the why would not come to him. She had been robbing the place, but she had had gloves on, so identification by fingerprints was out. None of her clothing had torn and he hadn't broken any of her silky, smooth skin for a DNA sample. Then it hit him. "Rhodey, go get me a cotton swab and a zip lock baggie, quick!" he exclaimed.

"What?" Rhodey responded with confusion. "Why do you want those items? Are you sure you didn't hit your head too hard?"

"Ha ha, very funny," Tony came back at him with. "Just do it, now please," he then ordered.

Rhodey gave him a you-must-be insane-look, but ran to try and locate the items Stark had asked him to. "You're gonna owe me one," he said as he left the room.

Tony just sat on the floor trying to replay the last few minutes in his mind. He doubted Sara was the woman's real name, but it was all he had to go on. She had tasted so good and her body had been so warm. He had been denying his usual needs for a while now and she had stirred his blood back to action. Plus, she was smart, sassy, and could obvious take care of herself. He had to find her again, he just had too. She had been so antagonistic towards him, but then she had totally given into him. The thought that he could still charm a woman into his arms brought a smile to his face. He hadn't lost the touch.

It took only a few moments for Rhodey to return to the awards room. "I can't believe you had me tearing through Hugh Hefner's mansion for this stuff," he commented as he handed Tony the cotton swab and plastic baggie.

"Oh, this is great," Tony said with genuine gratitude "They're just what I need." He carefully stood up, making sure he wouldn't topple back over, and then he made his way to the bathroom he had seen a few doors down from the awards room.

He quickly turned on a light and ignored the ornately golden and crystalline styled bathroom. He looked at his reflection in the mirror and gently proceeded to swab his lips with the cotton swab. The woman had certainly done her fair share of kissing him, as he had kissed her. He was hoping she had left some trace of her DNA on him. After he finished his gentle swabbing, he place the cotton swab carefully into the small zip lock baggie and sealed it shut. Now he just had to have one of his doctor friends run an analysis on it and he might be able to find out who the mystery woman was.

"You can run, my dear, but you can't hide," he told his reflection in the mirror.

"What are you doing, Tony?" Rhodey asked, coming into the bathroom to join his friend.

"Some detective work, bud, some detective work," Tony told him with a big grin.

Rhodey eyed Tony with a skeptical look. "What for?" he questioned.

"That brunette," was Tony's simple answer.

Rhodey rolled his eyes heavenward when he heard this. "Hell, Tony, please tell me you at least got her name before you lip locked with her?"

"Nope," Tony said, then added, "at least not her real name. She was in here robbing from Hef. I have no idea why a drop-dead-gorgeous woman like that was stealing petty jewelry and watches, but she was. I have to find who she is."

"She was robbing the --," Rhodey broke off as he digested what Tony had said. "You were making out with a burglar?" The military man couldn't believe his ears.

"Yeah, weird, huh? She didn't take much, but I want to know who she is," Tony told his friend.

"You don't need to be doing this right now, Tony," Rhodey groaned. "You have enough problems right now without you engaging in some silly cat and mouse game."

Tony gave Rhodey a hurt look. "Something tells me she needs help, so I'm going to help her. It's not up for a debate, Rhodey."

"We'd better not tell Pepper what you're up to then," Rhodey cautioned, "because she'd go through the roof. She doesn't like the exposure you have already; imagine what she would do if she knew you'd decided to investigate a common thief on top of everything else." He was referring to Tony's personal assistant, Pepper Potts; she all but ran Tony's life for him and did not like unexpected complications to arise in it. She was forever getting him out of trouble, and so was Rhodey for that matter.

Tony turned to Rhodey with a serious face. "That woman was no common thief, Rhodey. She was a pro, and a good one. I only got 'lip locked' with her because I was trying to help her not get caught. I think she could have many skills that would be useful. And besides, you know how I like to help a damsel in distress."

Rhodey gave Stark a disgusted look as he took in Tony's double meaning. "You are too much sometimes. We let you come to Hugh Hefner's birthday party, for appearances' sake, and you end up ass deep in alligators."

"You didn't let me come anywhere, Rhodey," Tony snapped at him, a little testily. "I'm not a prisoner in my own home. I'm simply taking your advice to let things calm down somewhat after my announcement."

"Yeah, the big announcement, 'I am Iron Man"," Rhodey quoted. "Geez, Tony could you paint a larger target on yourself?"

"I couldn't help it," Tony tried to justify the maddening impulse. "It was something I just couldn't keep to myself."

"Well, let's just hope it doesn't come back to bite you in the ass," Rhodey said sternly.

"It probably will," Tony replied, "but that's what makes life interesting right?"

Rhodey just shook his head in disdain as he and Stark decided to rejoin the party. Tony placed the plastic baggie in a pocket in the inside of his tuxedo jacket and smiled to himself. Yes, he would find the bewitching thief if it was the last thing he did.

TBC

Okay, there it is. Questions, comments, thoughts, opinions? All are welcome. Please let me know by leaving just a short review. :)