For the first time in a long time, I almost believed him.

"The last thing I remember before the lights went out was you kimbo-slicing through a room full of guards. Was that a reflex?" Tony shouted, his voice reverberating off the metal walls of the elevator.

"Yes, it was," I snapped back. "Gunshot went off, I saw YOU," I stopped, afraid of what might fly out of my mouth next. We were silent for a moment, and for a moment I thought he was going to kiss me.

"I'm tired of pretending," Tony said. My heart rose in my chest.

"So am I," I replied.

I couldn't believe it. Since the time we had met I had also thought that there had been a mutual attraction between us that he just wanted to deny, but he had never been so blatant about his feelings. I couldn't help but think that maybe his time as an agent afloat really had changed him, for the better, that he was finally ready. And then came the words that crushed my hopes.

"It's dinner theater for an audience of one. When's the curtain go down?" Tony said as he walked out of the elevator.

It had taken everything that I had to restrain myself from crying. How foolish I was for believing that he was ready.