Title: Elevated Attraction
Genre: Romance, fluff
Warnings: Contains fluff, copious amounts of it.
Summary: Stephanie wanted to hate him, he couldn't help but still love her. When the two are trapped in an elevator in a cliched manner will they come together after years of pain?
Stephanie couldn't even handle being in the same room with him at this point, she hated the sight of him and the way that every time she saw him her stomach twisted into knots over and over again until she felt almost sickly.
She shifted in her seat, tapping a pen on the edge of her notepad she tried not to look his way even though she could feel the heat emanating from his body as he sat next to her.
Her father would not...Shut....Up...
She had stopped listening awhile ago and as she felt him shift closer her whole body seemed to tense up, as though she was coiled and ready to run away from him.
Closing her eyes momentarily she rubbed her forehead, trying to bring back the negative feelings she knew that should be there, he had hurt her, used her and thrown her away like she was absolutely nothing.
"Headache?" His voice in her ear was the perfect mix of smooth and rough all at once, making her shudder somewhat. "I have some Advil in my bag," he told her, reaching down into his duffle.
"No thank you Hunter," Stephanie responded coldly, standing up slowly when her father announced the meeting was over. "I can take care of myself," she headed toward the elevator briskly, her eyes filled with determination and hatred, all directed toward her ex-husband.
Hunter rose from the table, heading toward the elevator behind her he arched an eyebrow at her once they were in it together, slinging his duffle bag over one shoulder. "Why the cold shoulder Steph?"
Stephanie pinned him with a glare, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Oh the twins are looking good," Hunter couldn't help but remark, practically wincing after the words had left his lips.
"Fuck you Hunter," Stephanie turned to face the elevator doors, stumbling backward when the elevator suddenly halted nearly sending her tumbling to the floor. She would have, if it weren't for his strong arm around her waist.
"Do not touch me," she snapped, shoving him away and she shouldn't have been able to but he let go and raised his hands signaling he was giving in and then he stepped back. She felt she would do anything to get him to come back, but pushed those feelings away.
"What the fuck is your problem Stephanie?" Hunter asked, crossing his arms over his chest and leaning back against the wall, peering at her. He swore again when the lights went out and slipped his hand into his bag, looking for his key chain which housed a small flashlight.
Stephanie took a deep breath, closing her eyes she found herself fighting tears suddenly and was glad for the darkness. She blinked them away rapidly when a bright light suddenly shone in her eyes, "I don't have a problem," she turned away from him and slid down to the floor slowly, making certain that her pants wouldn't get too wrinkled because she had another business meeting soon enough.
"So you're just gonna sit here for god knows how long, not talk to me and cry those big crocodile tears you always do and expect me to feel sorry for you?" Hunter asked her, his voice as brittle as his temper at the moment. It took everything he had in him not to smack himself, he was supposed to be civil but somehow she always brought out the worst in him.
"I don't expect you to feel anything for me Hunter, in fact I think you're almost entirely incapable of doing so," Stephanie responded, curling up on the floor she pulled her knees up to her chest and tried to control her tumultuous emotions and closed her eyes.
Hunter opened his mouth, wanting to say something or protest but he couldn't. For some reason it was like the words got caught in his throat and were choking him, "Maybe that was our main problem."
"What?" Stephanie sounded confused, but less defensive as her curiosity rose.
He couldn't help but smile to himself, she always had to know everything, sticking her nose where it didn't belong and getting all the facts. "You always doubted my capability to feel anything for you," he said, his voice sounding almost stilted as he forced the words out of his throat.
Stephanie didn't say anything, although the slightly quickened sound of her breathing tugged on something inside his chest, heart strings maybe he didn't know.
"Are you alright?" Hunter fumbled with the flash light he was holding, turning it back on again and turning the light toward her. He was shocked to see that her face had gone chalk white, and she seemed to be vaguely panicked. "Stephanie?"
"I'll be fine," her words lacked the normal malice, or any sense of calm. "It's just very dark, and small in here."
Hunter nodded, not sure of what to do. It wasn't like he had more than a flashlight and due to the lack of emergency lighting he assumed the whole building had lost power, or there was no backup generators. He also couldn't make the elevator larger, but he could try to get her to calm down before she ended up going into a complete panic attack.
"I did love you Stephanie, I still do but I couldn't deal with the games you were constantly playing. I couldn't deal with the way you would shriek at me," he shook his head, pushing ah and through his hair effectively getting it out of his eyes.
Stephanie glared in his general vicinity, scowling. "Maybe I did it because you were constantly ogling other women, hitting on them and making me feel like I was second to your career."
"You were second to my career," Hunter said bluntly.
"Of course," Stephanie's voice was filled with wry sarcasm.
"But I think I am not at a point in my life where you wouldn't be," he waited for her reaction.
Stephanie shifted over, grabbing the flash light and shining it in his face feeling a certain grim satisfaction when he winced. "What exactly are you saying Hunter?" Her voice was filled with weariness, as though she was too tired to deal with him. She certainly had lost her interest in games, but not in The Game.
"I'm saying what I've been trying to say for the past two years when I realized how much I wanted you around, wanted us to have a family," Hunter responded, hating himself for giving up his macho image in order to tell her how he was feeling but he did care about her that much, possibly more. "I want you to give me another chance."
"Another chance," Stephanie said slowly, as though she was trying to comprehend the words which had just come out of his mouth. "This isn't a game? Some kind of joke between you and Shawn to ruin the billion dollar princess once and for all."
Hunter smiled slightly, "No game. Just you and me."
She didn't want to relent, he could see it in her eyes and before he could stop himself he had grasped her wrist gently and tugged sending her tumbling into his chest so he could kiss her. He was horrible with words, but had always been good at broadcasting emotion so he tried to put all the honesty of his words into his kiss.
Stephanie wanted to hate him, but she never would and she knew that. She knew it was impossible to hate someone who had basically given her independence by first capturing her and then letting her go, or rather forcing her to go.
She melted into the kiss, into him and the little pieces of her seemed to gather back together as tears pricked her eyes.
"Do not cry on me Stephanie," Hunter threatened, his voice warmer, almost kind.
"Okay," Stephanie responded, "You get one last chance, but if you blow it not only will I hurt you but you will be without a job when I'm done with you."
Hunter nodded, "Of course." He kissed her forehead, "I wouldn't expect anything less."
"I still hate elevators," Stephanie commented.
"Sure you do."