She used to dream about this before she went to sleep at night. She would dream about the way his slightly calloused hands would feels rubbing on her skin. How his goatee would scratch on her skin, on her more delicate areas. The way it would feel with him inside her, how he would move, what tricks would he use on her. In all her dreams, and fantasies the morning after was never like this. Sometimes Tony was still there when she woke up, he would smile at her and the two would share sweet nothings and banter about the previous night. Sometimes he would be gone, and she would have to pick up her clothes, send them out for dry cleaning and pretend the night never happened.

But in all her wildest scenarios she never woke up sick to her stomach. She never felt this horrible. Even when she dreamed about it being a one-night stand, never did she have this much guilt about what she did, or about losing all her walls and principles. Then again Tony was never married before.

Married.

She slept with a married man. Pepper Potts just slept with her married boss. She bit her lip and fought down another bout of nausea. She was really going to throw up. She opened her eyes; half praying that he wasn't still in bed. But he was, she could feel his arm wrapped securely around middle before she even saw him sleeping peacefully a half smile gracing his lips.

This did nothing to help her. She could only conjuror up memories of where that mouth had been last night. Trailing scorching hot kisses down her jaw line, in between her breasts, down her stomach reaching her core, and licking, sucking, teasing her to climax. The way his hands went exploring every inch of her skin, squeezing each soft delicate area, carefully molding everything to his memory. Pepper can still feel him pressed up against her, how his abs and muscles contracted up her hands, and the width of him twitching inside of her.

For a few seconds she forgets about the married man part. She just sees Tony. How happy he looks in his sleep,, how fulfilled and sated her seems now. She relishes the feeling of his arm wrapped around her, the warmth he's providing. She can feel herself smile, while she watches him sleep. She marvels at how much his smile reminds her of a little kid. She can't remember the last time she's seen this smile on him. And she briefly wonders what their kids would look like or how their wedding would go.

And it crashes down on her, so much so that she pushes Tony's hand off of her roughly, not even caring if she wakes him up or not. She rushes into the bathroom, her button down shirt flapping around her, and she empties the contents of her stomach into the toilet bowl.

She's ruining someone else's dreams. Amanda, just even saying the name makes her gag, had these dreams and thought that they would be valued. She dreamt about her wedding with Tony, and what their kids would look like, how she would live the rest of her life out with him. Pepper was sure nowhere in those plans was Tony cheating on her. Pepper couldn't believe she let her walls down, that she allowed this to happen. It was horrifying, and she found her self bent over the toilet again.

She can hear him rustling around in the other room, and her mind starts to panic. What would he say about last night? How did he feel about it? What were they going to do? How were they going to resolve this? She didn't know what he would think of her, or himself or what was going on. Pepper's mind swam with different conflicting thoughts, and for once in her life Pepper had no idea how to clean up the mess. She dropped to her butt, pulling her knees up against her chest, pulling her shirt around her.

"Are you okay?" Of course he would ask the completely wrong questions. No, she wasn't okay. Just thinking about what went on last night brought on bouts of guilt that twisted her stomach. It also brought on rushing heat to places that should not be excited about what went on last night, nor hoping that it would be repeated. Just those thoughts alone made her want to throw up again.

"Potts? Hey, what's wrong?" God what wasn't wrong? She looks up at him, hovering over her unsure of what to do. She laughs because he just looks so ridiculous, and the hysterical laughter just won't stop. She's slowly going out of her mind. She catches his eye, and she knows she's freaking him out a little; hell she's freaking herself out. She pauses taking deep breaths, before looking back up at him to answer his question.

"Everything, Tony." She says, her voice cracking. "What we did last night was wrong. It was…just so wrong."

She can't really come up with anything else to say. She doesn't have the words to articulate how horrible she feels. He kneels down to her level, and puts his arm around her shoulders and it comforts her in a way she wishes it wouldn't. She just wants to lean into him, and let him make her forget everything, but that would only lead back to where they were now. She knows she's crossed a line that shouldn't have been crossed, gone to a place where she can never fully come back from.

"Hey… It's okay." He coos to her, rubbing his arm across her back. It does the exact opposite of what he intends it to do. It enrages her. How can he be so calm about it why isn't he freaking out about cheating? But then her mind snaps into action. This is Tony Stark, and once a playboy always a playboy. She's going to have to clean this up herself, and the first thing she needs to do is get away from Tony. She needs time, and quiet to think, get her head on straight and access what she's going to do.

"Pepper, listen to me. Everything will be alright."

"No, no its not." She says, pushing herself up off the bathroom floor, plowing past him. As she's finding her clothing strewn through out the room, and placing them back on her body, her mind is racing with possibilities. Will they sweep this one incident under the rug and never talk about it again? Pepper will just have to swallow guilt everything she sees Amanda's face. Can she live with what she's done? Could she continue to come into work every day after last night? These questions mean nothing now, after the fact.

"Pep. Don't do this." He whispers in his heartbroken little boy voice. She spares a glance at him, looking sullen in the doorway. Her heart twinges at the sight, and she almost crumbs, almost. But the sick feeling in her stomach won't let her, the way he casually told her not to worry about it, the guarantee that distance from Tony will allow her logical thinking to reign pushes her on.

"I'll divorce her." He says likes it's a magical fix to everything.

She pauses, her mind running through what would happen. How horrible the press coverage would be, what would happen if it got out that Tony cheated (though it would surprise no one), how long and drawn out the lawyer meetings would be and finally what would happen after ward. Could she live with breaking up a marriage? Could she let herself be with him, even though the means to get him were reprehensible?

"That won't fix anything. What we did will still be immoral." She whispers, starting up again with the task of buttoning up her blazer, and finding her right shoe.

"I'll leave her Pepper. I swear, I'll do it right now." He says again, moving to stand in front of her holding her shoe in his hand.

"And then what?" She asks while snatching the shoe out of his hand and putting them on. Pepper doesn't see how that is going to help. It's not going to erase the last night, and its not going to make it better.

"We'll be together, Pepper."

"Until you end up in bed with your next personal assistant."

"Pepper, it won't be like that…" He tries to defend himself, sounding hurt that she would even suggest it, but really, he did just cheat on his wife.

"Why because I'm the girl you cheated with instead of cheated on?"

He stops and looks at her. She sighs, her energy just draining from her. This argument is pointless. It doesn't how much she tries he will never get the devastating blow of how guilty she feels. He just doesn't see why.

"You just don't understand." She says sadly, shaking her head. She pulls her hair down, and fixes it up into a perfect bun with in moments. She gives him a very sad smile, and brushes his hair out of his eyes. He's watching her like he's programming her into his memory, and she realizes herself that this may be the last time she sees him.

"If Amanda cheated on you…" She starts but realizes that he doesn't care about that. At least not now when it would give him justification, in his mind. She closes her eyes, images of the previous night flickering across her eyes. Can she come into work tomorrow?

"One day, Tony… you'll understand how horrible it feels, and to feel guilty…" She doesn't know how to explain it. She just lets her words trail off, and he brings his hand up to her face. She leans into his hand, shamelessly desperate for his touch.

"I do feel guilty."

"But not enough that you would never cheat again." He clamps his mouth shut at her words, and she nods her head. Taking a step back, she looks him up and down one last time. Putting every single detail of him into her mind, the way his hair spikes up, how the folds in his pants look, every tiny scar and mar on his body from his missions. She locks it up into the vault inside her head.

"Goodbye, Mr. Stark." She states getting back into professional mode. She walks to the door, and as her hand touches the doorknob she barely hears him ask.

"Are you going to quit?"

She walks out the door unsure of the answer herself.

Pepper is able to endure a month of continuing working as Mr. Stark's personal assistant. She avoids him at all costs, hasn't seen him since that day. She's been going in late to get the work done, when she was sure he wasn't at work, and send him information through Jarvis and e-mails she wasn't sure he was reading. But standing in her condo, looking at herself in her mirror she recognizes she can't do it for much longer. She hasn't had a good night sleep since, and she's begun to become paranoid about Amanda finding out. Pepper has dark bags under her eyes, and she's loosing weight from worry and guilt eating away her stomach. She just wants to spill everything, and take the consequences of her actions.

"Mr. Stark," She practices in the mirror, still dressed from work, "I can no longer ignore the unprofessional and inappropriate way I acted last month, and thus can no longer permit this charade to continue, and feel that I must quit."

She stares at herself in the mirror, much like Mr. Stark would if she said that to him. He would have that turned around, and talking her into much more within moments, and she didn't want to give him that advantage. She bites her lip, and tries to come up with something else.

"Mr. Stark. I quit." Too short, she sighs. How many times had she uttered those two words only to end up continuing to work for him? That would get her nowhere. She has been trying to find the magic words to quit as his personal assistant for years, and so far she was unsuccessful.

No. She would be successful. She would tell him she's quit, and walk out. She wouldn't let him respond, it was her time to put her foot down. She would go live in a small town somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Somewhere he would never find her again, and she would start her life over. She would start it without Tony, or superheroes, or being an adulterer.

"Mr. Stark, the time has come where I can no longer perform my duties. I quit, resign my position, I'm done." She states forcefully to her reflection, pointing a finger at herself. "You hear that Potts? You quit, and you don't take no for an answer."

Now if only it would go that smoothly when she did it for real. She looks at the clock and groans, seeing how late at night it is. If she actually wants to show up in the morning tomorrow, and be awake enough to defend her position she should've been in bed two hours ago. It doesn't matter, she thinks of Tony's face when he sees her, the shock splaying out at her words, and his dumbfounded silence as she briskly walks out of the office.

She nods at herself when her doorbell rings, and she hears someone knock. Pepper stiffens, trying to figure out who it would be, and what they could want. She walks to the door, keeping note of all the things she could possibly use as a weapon (because the burglar/murder/rapist is going to knock on your door) while her mind runs through whom it could be.

She thinks briefly that it was Amanda, whose some how found out, and is ready to punch her out or demand that she quit or to fire her outright. Pepper braces herself for whatever may come when she pulls open the door, and sees Tony standing there. She doesn't get to react properly, because he's come inside, shut the door, and captured her lips already.

She pushes back from him, staring at him. She wants to slap him, but refrains. She puts more distance in between him and her.

"What are you doing here?"

"I thought you really left, I thought you were gone, and your not." He says with a goof grin, and Pepper wonders if he's had anything to drink. "I had to see you, Pepper."

She bites her tongue at his words. Her decision to quit only supported by his actions. She knew there would be no way they could work together, alone and close any longer. He could barely hold himself off long enough to get inside.

"At least this saves me the trouble of hunting you down tomorrow." She says, as she tries to gather her courage. He's standing there looking at her, just happy to see her. His face is lit up like a Christmas tree. She doesn't know if she has to heart to crush him, when he's all excited, especially now that her escape had vanished. She could easily walk out of his office, but how easy would it be to get him to leave her condo? Or would it be easier for her to leave?

"I quit. I can't work for you any longer, Mr. Stark." She says, her voice holding strong. He moved closer to her, and she fought the urge to run, to escape. She was standing her ground. His hands moved to go around her, and she slapped them away. He raised his eyebrow at her, but didn't reach for her again.

"You can't quit, Potts. You're not allowed to leave me."

"Mr. Stark, I-"

"What would I do without you?" He asks close enough to her that she can feel his breath of her face. She steps back, and moves again.

"I mean it. I quit." She warns him. "I refuse to work for you anymore, Mr. Stark."

He frowns at the name and moves closer to her, trapping her up against a wall. She doesn't know why she seems so scared of him, but she knows that she can't resist him. Not now, after he's been so close. She wants him now more than ever, and dangling the forbidden fruit in front of her has her crumbling inside. She was able to keep her strong exterior on for so long, she doesn't know why it's failing her now. If she had to guess, it's because she doesn't want it to work, she doesn't want walls between her and Tony anymore. She just wants to be with him, run away to some place where no one would ever find them, and just be happy no matter whom it hurts or how wrong it is in the eyes of society.

He leans down and kisses her again. She pulls back, and slaps him across the face. He slowly turns his head towards her, watching her. She can see storm clouds in his eyes, and she wanders what secrets she letting go from her eyes. Does he see how much she wants this? Can he see how much that want repulses her? Why did she continue to be in love with him even though he was wrong for her in every single way, and already taken? Did he see that deep down insider her, she really didn't care about any of that?

She watches him trying to figure out what he's going to do next. Her eyes linger on the red mark on the side of his cheek. She's not sure how hard she hit him, and if it was anything next to the explosions or bullets he gets hit with. He leans back in, and her hand flies towards his face again. He catches her arm, and holds it. They stare at each other for long minutes before he continues on his path, his lips making contact with her neck. He bites down on her neck, and she moans at the pleasure pain. He laps at it, before nibbling on the sensitive skin again. She can feel each hair on his goatee that scrapes along her skin, while he continues his ministrations in the one spot.

He pulls back and looks at her neck with a smug grin. She knows there is a prominent red mark on her neck. She wants him to stop staring at his handiwork, and continue. She wants him to go away, so she can escape him and his influence.

"This doesn't change anything." She says voice harsh, and rough with want. She can see his eyes darken from it, and she tries to clear it away. "I still quit."

He pushes her up against the wall, his hands holding hers up above her head. She moans when he pushes himself into her. She can feel him, hard and ready by her hip. Her body responds, and she can already feel herself pooling for him. She squirms, and bites her lip to stifle another moan. He grins at her, his gaze making her flush all over her skin, as he transfers her hands into one of his. The other comes down to unbutton her shirt, exposing more of her skin. He lets his fingers trail in between the curves of her breasts, fingers lingering down by the band of skirt each time.

She closes her eyes, and leans her head back against the wall when his hand goes down beneath her skirt band. She can feel him playing with her hairs, as his fingers explore the outside of her. They tease her between the fabric of her panties, and she moans aloud squirming against his hand. She opens her eyes to find him staring right at her, a cocky grin on his face. She was doomed; she would never be able to escape this. He was her tormentor and savior.

Any coherent thought was lost when his fingers dipped under the thin fabric separating them from her completely. He played with the slick fold, barely ghosting over the tight bundle of nerves. She tried to ground against him, moaning his name but he kept moving his fingers around refusing to let her get any friction.

"Tell me you won't leave." He says rough against her, and her mind screams extortion. She doesn't respond, and his finger slowly circles her opening, barely pressing up inside. She withers in pleasure, and then whimpers when he moves away.

"Potts…" He says her name roughly, like he can barely keep himself contained, "Tell me."

"I won't... I won't…" is all she can force her mouth to say. She struggles in vain to find some friction when he slightly sticks his finger inside her. She moans in pleasure, and pushes against it. She's panting, and nearly coming undone, she needs him to put her out of her misery. She can't take this much longer; this slow teasing torture would be the end of her.

"Say it, Potts. Tell me you won't leave me."

"I won't...Oh…leave you, Tony." She says, which satisfies him enough that he releases her hands, they immediately wind their way in his shirt, pull him close to her body lips become one. She bites at his lower lip, he moans in her mouth and she loves it. She drags her hands down his body, to his belt expertly. One hand of his is still teasing her inside her panties; the other is supporting him against the wall. She undoes his fly, pushing his pants and boxers to pool down around his angles. He lifts his head back and moans when her hands wrap around him.

She can feel him growing and twitching. It gives her a thrill of power, as she slowly and very, very gentle runs her hands down the length of him. He shivers and moans, and comes to rest his head on her shoulder.

"Pepper." He whispers against he skin, and it sends chills down her spine. He moves his fingers, pushing up into her expertly. She arches against the wall, hands gripping tight on to him as she grinds down on his fingers.

"Don't be such a tease." He mumbles into her skin, and she laughs against him. He looks up at her, and he has the most gorgeous smile on his face, relaxed and playful. She reaches one hand up to his neck, pulling him down for a kiss. He removes his hand from her, and she whimpers in his mouth. He picks her up with ease, steps out of the clothing around his ankles, and takes her over to the couch.

She watches him, as he leans over her, removing her skirt. He lets his fingers linger on her legs, while he looks at her with the utter most devotion and concentration she has ever seen on his face. He hooks his fingers around the band of her underwear, and pulls it down and off flinging it across the room with a cocky smile. She has no time to be upset about it, as he leans down against her, skin coming into contact with skin.

"Now." She demands, after he's rubbed his throbbing prick against her heated core. He grins down at her but complies with her demands. He pushes himself inside her, and she arches against the contact. The much welcomed friction as he begins a steady pace against her. She bucks her hips against him urging and pleading for him to quicken.

It doesn't take long for her to succumb to the building pressure inside her. She lets go with a cry of "Anthony!" He follows shortly after her, moaning her name, and coming inside of her. He slumps against he her, their skin sticking together as they breathe heavily. He moves off and out of her after a few minutes. He supports his weight on his arms as he looks down at her, smiling.

"I love you, Pepper."

She smiles, and closes her eyes. She can feel the tears streaming passed her closed eyelids. How could she ever leave him now?

Their illicit love affair continues on for months. Pepper always claimed that tonight she really going to break it off, that this was the end. This was their last time together, and when she had the courage to tell him so, he would laugh and smile. When the morning came, she was still there, never having the courage to get up and leave while he slept. And she always came to work the next day, unable to stop herself from going to her newest addiction.

She hated herself every day. She didn't buy a new pair of shoes since this whole ordeal started, and she kept finding little ways to punish herself. She wouldn't allow herself to think about him, or how he made her feel. She kept her mind distracted by thinking about Amanda, or by interacting with her more than necessary. Twice she ran out for coffee (which is not in her job description) and retrieved Amanda's dry cleaning, only to be bitched at for the next twenty minutes about a stain they didn't get out.

Pepper was now standing in front of Amanda, getting chewed out for not only bring her the wrong coffee (Pepper knew it was wrong when she ordered it but it made her feel better to have Amanda yell at her for anything) and that she didn't order the right blue for her latest benefit she was throwing for the children in Africa.

"I told you specifically that I didn't want Robin's Egg blue. I don't understand how you managed to keep you job for so long." Pepper stands still, twisting Amanda's words around so she can try and relieve some guilt on her part. It doesn't work, and she concentrates on each word Amanda says. Theses things should piss her off, but she was sleeping with the women's husband. "Obviously you don't have the necessary skills to do the job that you're paid for. I mean, really how do you even survive in the real world?"

"What the fuck is going on?"

Both women start at the sudden appearance of Tony. He's just come up from the garage. Pepper can tell he's been working hard; he has grease stains all over his shirt, arms, and she can see gleaming spots in his hair where grease had gotten in it. Miraculously his hands are clean, and Pepper thinks he must've washed them before he came up because it had to be impossible otherwise.

"What?" Amanda asks, obviously annoyed by being interrupted. Pepper loved to do it to her, because she would get harsher the more you interrupted her. Tony looked over at her, and she glanced down at her blackberry quickly her main defense for ignoring Tony. She can feel Amanda's gaze on her. She looks up without moving her head; she knows Amanda is glaring at the phone. Amanda hated it when Pepper brought out the phone, this was only emphasized by the scoff and eye roll as she folded her arms looking back at Tony.

"Who the fuck do you think your talking to?" He asks, more than irritated. Pepper's head snaps up, she's never really seen Tony this mad. His neck is flushing, and she can see the beginnings of veins poking out of his skin.

"Your secretary. Why in the world-"

"Don't call her that. She's my personal assistant." He says teeth clenched together, hands in balls, knuckles going white. Pepper observes and catalogues each action, every muscle movement. She can see what this is doing to him. If she was just his PA, he wouldn't have put so much emphasis on the 'my', he wouldn't get this mad, and it was too much to keep putting their selves through this.

"Tony, that's just a glorified fucking secretary, okay? She can't even get a coffee right, so she's not that great." Amanda rolls off, annoyed and flippant. She shifts around facing Pepper again, ready to go on and on about the blue ribbon. Pepper knows Amanda's mannerisms almost as well as she knows Tony. She knows what buttons to push to get the greatest reaction, the greatest bitchy and the biggest punishments.

"So, on your way back from-"

"You got her coffee?" Tony speaks over Amanda, which cause her to turn and glare at her husband, now really pissed off that he's interrupted her twice. Pepper wonders if he knows that is pisses Amanda off or not. He staring at her waiting for her to say something, her eyes dart to Amanda, before nodding.

"Why?" He asks, clearly confused. Pepper's afraid that he's going to figure out what she's doing, going to figure out how much she hates herself for living, for not being strong enough to leave. She doesn't want to continue this, she doesn't want to cause these arguments or be caught in between. She doesn't want to be the elephant in the room, where everyone knows he's screwing her but doesn't say anything. She doesn't want this life anymore, and her voice abandons her. Luckily for her Amanda answers.

"It's her job."

"No, its her job to run my schedule, make sure I get to meetings on time, and that I don't set anything on fire." He snaps back mimicking words she said to him within her first few weeks of working for him. Pepper realizes this is hinted more towards her than Amanda, but she ignores his comments, and looks down at her blackberry again already ordering the correct ribbon for Amanda's party.

"Well, now its her job to get coffee and attempt to be helpful running my charity events, though I'd be better off if I hired a real coordinate director."

"Maybe you should." He counters. Amanda turns to face him fully, arms crossed, anger flaring in her eyes. They both stare each other down, both boiling with fury. Pepper doesn't want to be here in this room. She wonders how much this happens, and then she wonders if this would be the case had she quit when he got married, or was able to stand her ground.

"I can take care of it, Mrs. Stark." Pepper says hoping to diffuse the situation, but the death glare Tony shoots over Amanda's head at her tells her this was not to be the case. Amanda smiles at her, and Pepper realizes that this woman still had no clue. Pepper glances at Tony once before asking a few more questions that she needs for the benefit. She will get it done, and make sure she does it right this time.

"See, dear." Amanda says without turning to face her husband, "She knows her place, why are you getting so worked up."

Tony turns red, but after once more reassurance that Pepper knows exactly what Amanda want, she heads out the door. Pepper and Tony stand in silence till the door slams shut, and then Pepper wants to run.

"What the fuck was that Pepper?"

"It was nothing, Mr. Stark." She says hoping to put some distance between the two of them. "I can handle myself, and I did screw up."

"You never screw up, Pep. That's my job." He says, and she can hear him relax a little. He takes her arm in his hand and pulls her a little closer. He expects her to fall into him, but she keeps her feet planted firmly.

"Pep…?"

"I can't do this anymore." She states while staring at his shoes. "This getting too big, the guilt is eating me alive Tony. I can't image what would happen if she found out, and she's really not that bad of a person."

"Pepper, I don't understand."

A sad smile twitches its way onto her face. She remembers what she told him so long ago, and she knows that they still haven't sunk in. That this would never be anything serious to him.

"There are repercussions for our actions, Tony."

"Pepper…" He forces her to look at him, his hand cupping her cheek. "I'll still leave her, any time you want me to, I'll tell her, and we can be happy Pep."

"Tony, we are way past any of that." She says moving away from him, her heels clicking on the floor. "I already hate myself for letting this go on so far, and I won't do it anymore."

Pepper is true to her word. She doesn't answer her phone past nine, she doesn't allow him to lure her into anything, and she is able to hold strong against any and all attempts. She doesn't know where this newfound strength came from but she appreciates it. She thanks whatever brought it to her every day.

It's been a while since anything has happened between the two, and she thinks that soon she might be able to quit. She might find the courage just to walk out, and not look back. But she's not pushing her luck.

She's at the function she helped plan for Amanda, with Michael Fenning. He's the personal assistant to the CEO of Greenfarm, and over the past few years they've become close. He's been trying to get her to go on a date, and since they both had to be here, plus her will to break free of Tony she said yes. Michael had arrived to pick her up, was a perfect gentleman the whole time she's been with him, and understood unlike may other dates when she had to run off and fix something from the catering, or when she had to talk Amanda down from a nervous break.

"Oh, Pepper, did you recheck on the audio?"

"Yes, Mrs. Stark. Shall I check it again?" She asked the frantic woman. Amanda smiled at her, and shook her head 'no'.

"You should have some fun, you brought a date no?"

"A date?" Both women turned to Tony, who was now standing besides Amanda. Amanda rolled her eyes at him, and turned back to Pepper demanding dirt. Pepper obliged Mrs. Stark, pointing out who she brought ("That guy?" was Tony's disgruntled comment), and telling the little Pepper knew about him.

"Pepper…" Michael came up to her smiling, "Sorry bout that. May I have this dance?"

"Of course." She replied, even though she could feel Tony's eyes boring into her back. She tried to forget about him and enjoy her dance. But the waltz that was playing, slowly morphed into something where Michael could get closer. She could feel Tony's eyes on each place Michael touched.

It makes her nervous, and she gets a bad feeling in her stomach. Somehow, with him here, in her face about Michael it seems like she's cheating. Which is ridiculous because her and Tony aren't together. They never were together, she was his mistress, and that doesn't count as dating. But as Michael and her dance, his hands slipping lower towards her ass, she feels likes she's cheating.

Her eyes instantly find Tony. She can always find him in any crowd, its one of the reasons she was such a great PA. He looks pissed off and hurt, and somehow it makes her feel better. It makes her feel like he's getting his just desserts. She allows the dancing to continue far longer that she originally wanted, and allows her hands to roam over Michael. She thinks she hears glass breaking, but that was ridiculous. Her eyes scan the crowd for Tony, but she can't find him. That makes her more nervous than anything, and she looks harder. She swears that's his head at the bar, but she can't be sure. She bites her lip, and turns to face Michael intent on not worrying about Tony for once.

Her dance doesn't last much longer. Michael's boss is taking to a few people about business, and Michael has to rush over there to keep track of dates, names and figures. Pepper sighs, by herself again and she decides it's time to get some fresh air. She needs to go someplace away from prying eyes, and feeling like she's the only loser at the event without a date.

As she's looking down the hallways for a bathroom, or balcony to escape to, someone grabs her arm and pulls her into the nearest room. She doesn't know whose grabbed her, but she quickly accesses that she's in a closet. She gets pushed up against the back wall, and even in the dark light she recognizes her kidnapper to be Tony.

"What?" She asks, but he pushes his lips on top of hers. His whole body is laying on her, and she can feel his erection pressing against her hip. She tries to push him off of her, but he's much stronger than her. She whimpers, and he pulls his head back in a snap. She hates to admit it but he's scaring her a little, and she doesn't quite like it. He just stares at her.

"What are you doing?" She asks again, hoping to get an answer.

"What were you doing?" He asks, a hint of anger in his voice.

"Me? I didn't… I wasn't doing anything." She says confused. He puts his head down on his shoulder, and laughs low. She's a little worried about him, but she doesn't smell any alcohol on him. She bites her lip wondering what to do with a crazy Tony.

"I understand now Potts." He says, kissing her neck. "I couldn't stand it when you were with him. Everything hurt, everything."

Even with his very distracting ministrations on the side of her neck, she connects the dots. He thinks she was trying to teach him a lesson, trying to show him what it would feel like to be in Amanda's shoes. And while an side perk, that wasn't what she was going for.

"Tony, if you understand then you wouldn't be doing this."

He stops and looks up at her. She sighs, and pushes him away, which he complies with.

"That pain you felt is how Amanda will feel, and I can't do that anymore Tony. This was me trying to move on with my life."

His eyes darken and narrow as his mind begins to connect the dots, and his hands clasp onto her wrists again.

"You mean you were serious about this guy?"

"Well, yeah-" That's all she can get out before he pins her against the wall again. His lips instantly finding the sensitive spot on her neck, making her moan loud. He nicks the spot again, and she can't fight against moaning again. She gulps realizing how far they actually were from the room, and how many people would walk by the closet door. He pulls away looking at her with a glint in his eyes that tell her he just realized the same thing.

His hands push the straps of her dress off her shoulders, and it falls to ground easily. She's left in nothing but her bra, thong and heels. He growls at the sight of her frilly underwear.

"Was he going to get some tonight, Potts?" Tony asks darkly.

"Yes." She replies simply, with daring and rebellion like she wasn't stripped naked in a closet, not that far from the actual benefit. He bent his head down, taking on clothed nipple into his mouth and sucking. She felt her back arch electric shock shooting through her. She cried out in pleasure before remembering again. She bit her lip, as he started lapping against her. He worked until the nipple was erect, and throbbing before he abandoned it in favor for its twin. Once he was satisfied with his work, he moved down leaving a wet trail down to her stomach ending at the band of her thong. He kissed her over the fabric moving down to where she was already wet and pooling.

He licked her through the thin fabric, finding all her sensitive spots and making her legs tremble. She bit her lip to keep from crying out worrying about the people she could hear walking by the door. Tony was unaffected, and teasing her leaving the fabric intact as she suckled, lapped, and nipped exploring her.

"Ah, Tony…" She moaned, unable to keep anything in any longer. She was on the edge, she became so easily unraveled by him. He stopped to look up at her. He smiled, and nuzzled his face inside on top of her sex, his goatee poking through and tickling her even more. He rose up, pushing against her, his head by her ear. She was breathing raggedly, she was waiting for him to do something.

"Whose the only one who could get you this wet?" He asked roughly by her ear.

"You, Tony. Just you."

Quicker than any normal man, Tony pulled himself out. He pushed her thong aside, and went deep inside. She gasped at the movement. She murmured his praises; they came rushing out of her mouth. She missed him. She missed this.

"God, ohgodohgod." She mumbled, she could practically feel the cocky grin on his face. He quickened his pace; her breath came quicker, her hips bucking like crazy against him. He had them angled just right that each thrust hit every sweet spot.

"Anthony!" She groaned as he brought her to climax. Her walls tightening around him, made him come only seconds later, her name rumbling in his chest: "Virginia."

He kissed her full on the mouth, before pulling out and zipping up. She picked up her dress, and placed it back in place. They both waited in silence, he looking at her one last time before heading out the closet door. She slid down the closet wall, tears coming down her eyes. She would never be free of him, and she wasn't sure she wanted to.

Pepper returned to the ballroom, after cleaning her self and fixing her make up. Tony seemed lively deciding for once to make use of the networking opportunities and was caught up talking to various businessmen the rest of the night.

Pepper wasn't able to find Michael again. She partly wondered if Tony had something to do with it, but she pushes those thoughts from her mind as Amanda walked up to her. Amanda begins talking about random things that Pepper just nods along, not really paying attention till Amanda points out Mr. Coleman, and his personal assistant.

"Just look, isn't that horrible?"

"Hmm?" Pepper asks, thinking about the affair that she knows is going on between the two.

"They are clearly sleeping together." Peppers eyes pop out a little, she thought that was a well-kept secret.

"Oh, yeah honey everyone one knows about, even his wife does. Poor thing, isn't it just awful? How do they continue on? I mean everyone knows!"

"Yeah...Awful." Pepper response and lets Amanda talk on without really paying attention. All Pepper could think about is how in a few years that could be them. Hell even in a few months that could be them if there were any more incidents like tonight. What if someone walked in on them or had heard their voices?

She didn't want to be them. She didn't want to hear the whispers about them, or have the rumors floating around. She didn't want to think about having to deal with the press and be thought less of because she wouldn't leave. She didn't want them to think of Tony using her or anything. She couldn't be that person. She wouldn't allow herself to become that person.

She was waiting for Tony when he got home. She knew Amanda wouldn't be there; she was going jet setting off to another benefit. Tony walked in, and stopped.

"Jarvis, Sleep Mode."

"Good Night, Sir. Miss Potts."

"I can't do this anymore Tony."

"You say that every time Potts, and somehow your still here in the morning." He replies confidently. She gives him a small sad smile; things are playing out in their usual script.

"I mean it this time." She says, without in conviction in her voice. "I won't be here when you wake up in the morning."

He laughs her warning off, and pulls her face into her hands. She kisses him for all she worth, and gets him to moan into her mouth. He takes her hand and pulls her up towards his bedroom, and for once she lets him.

Tony wakes up then next morning, arm stretching out to reach for Pepper. He frowns when her side of the bed is cold. He opens his eyes, and finds the bed empty. He stays in silence, hoping to hear her in the bathroom. But after long drawn out minutes go by he realizes she's not there. He gets up, and pulls on a pair of boxers.

He goes downstairs to search for her, but even after scouring the house twice he still can't find her. He frowns heading back upstairs to get dressed; he plans on going over to her house, trying to catch her. He barks at Jarvis to call Pepper while he rummages for clothes, and hears the ring behind him. He walks over to the dresser, jeans on with a shirt in hand and looks down at the phone.

It's still ringing, his name flashing over the caller ID, taunting him.

Pepper sneaks out of the bed at one in the morning. She gets out carefully without waking him. There are tears in her eyes, as she spends precious minutes watching him sleep. She bites her lip to hold back any sobs as she gently places her blackberry down on the dresser.

She walks out of the house, Jarvis still on sleep mode and not recording her actions. She quickly gets into her car. The back filled with shoes and clothes, some precious family heirlooms and mementos. In the front seat beside her purse, is her whole checking and savings account in cash, she used her boss' name and bullied the bank manager into giving it to her.

She looks back at the house one last time, eyes lingering on what she knew to be his bedroom window. She releases everything from her thoughts, and turns the car on before peeling out into the big open world finally a free woman.