Hey ya'll, here's chapter 7 and I do not think you will be disappointed.
Disclaimer: I own Marvel... In my dreams!
"You would not believe the incredible view," Harper was saying to Lori as Lori changed into her pajamas. They were sitting in Lori's apartment, Elle was passed out in the living room, and Harper had just come to get her from her sister after having dinner at Stark Tower.
"I've been there- not to the top granted, but yeah. Tony Stark sure knows what to do with his money." Lori agreed. "So how was it?"
"Dinner was amazing," Harper sighed. "I just- I never thought that I'd be, you know, having dinner in Stark Tower hanging out and talking about the world with Tony Stark."
"I hope you weren't spending too much time talking to Mr. Stark because we all know what a lost cause that is. That boy is devoted to Ms. Potts come hell or high water."
"Of course not!" Harper laughed. "It's just weird, you know?"
"Trust me kiddo, I know."
"I hate it when you call me that." Harper said and her sister cracked a grin.
"So, what's going on over on the good doctor front?"
"He asked me out."
"I hope you said yes! I mean, even if it's just for the practice."
"Yeah I said yes."
"Jeeze girl, don't sound too excited." Lori walked over to the bed and sat down on it facing her younger sister. "What's up?"
"Well, it's just- I called Josh today, and he of course made me feel like shit for even thinking about dating, or doing anything that doesn't pertain to caring for our daughter." she shook her head. "And I mean, Bruce is totally amazing and everything, but I just don't- I think he deserves someone a little more stable than me, you know?"
"Honey, Bruce couldn't do any better than you and you know it. You are amazing, and don't you forget that. He would be lucky to have you and your totally amazing daughter in his life." Lori said before reaching forward and pulling Harper into a hug. "Come on, you always get like this after you talk to Josh."
"It's not my fault, he just has this way of making me feel so... Inadequate."
"Well, honey, he's a sociopath, that's what they do." Lori sighed. "Now, when's your date with Bruce?"
"Okay and where are you guys going?"
"I don't know, we haven't decided yet."
"Do you need me to watch Elle?"
"Oh my god, would you?"
"Are you sure James won't mind?"
"Oh please, they'll spend the night watching reruns of the A-Team while I get some work done, he'll be fine."
"Yeah I was wondering why she decided to name one of her stuffed animals Hannibal." Harper said thoughtfully and Lori shrugged with a smile. "Well, anyways, I'd better be going, I've got to get sleepy head over there up in the morning to help me open the store."
"Sounds better than what I have to do tomorrow."
"Oh yeah your bi-quarterly schlep out to Jersey to visit the future in-laws, have fun." Harper grinned.
"Sometimes I wish I had a supportive sister who would get me out of these things."
"Blame dad, he never believed in helping out the family." Harper teased as the two sisters walked to the living room. Harper groaned lightly as she picked her daughter up and let the girl's head fall on her shoulder.
"I hope you aren't taking the subway like this."
"Harper, no, let me get you a cab!" Lori insister and Harper shook her head.
"No way Lori, I already owe you money for helping me with the movers."
"No, honey, this is nothing, I just don't want to hear about anything happening to you two while you go home."
"We'll be fine, it's just a few stops."
"No, Lori, we'll be fine." Harper kissed her sister's cheek. "I'll see you later." Lori huffed in response, but knew when she had been beat. As Harper stepped out of her sister's building James was getting out of a cab.
"Oh, hang on a sec." he said to the cabbie before he walked over to Harper. "Let me get her for you." he grinned as he easily plucked the sleeping Elle from her mother's arms.
"No, James, we're taking the subway." she protested.
"No you're not." he said as he shook his head. He pulled a bill fold from his pocket and handed the driver a few extra bills. "Take them home," he told them before telling the driver their address.
"James, no, we'll be fine, I just had this talk with my sister-"
"Then you'll know that I never lose an argument, unless it's to your sister." he said before he kissed his girlfriend's sister on her forehead. "Good to see you kiddo."
"Bye!" he called as he walked into the building. She sighed and then looked at the cabbie who was looking out of the cab at her.
"It's already paid for." he shrugged and she sighed again before getting into the cab. She closed the door and he drove them home.
The day of her date with Bruce Harper left the store, letting her manager Oliver close it while she dropped Elle off at Lori's. Elle was going to spend the night at her aunt's, which she was very excited about. She had decided to dress up for the night by wearing a pair of green leggings, red cowboy boots and a bright pink tutu with a blue shirt. "Well don't you look like the cutest little pack of skittles ever?" Lori asked when she opened the door to see her very colorful niece staring up at her holding a stuffed animal that was almost as big as she was.
"You have no idea the looks she was getting on the subway."
"Hey is a guy can walk around Time Square in his tightie whities and a pair of cowboy boots and a guitar I don't see why she can't be the ballerina cowgirl." Lori said decidedly and Harper laughed lightly. "So what time is Bruce picking you up?"
"In like two hours."
"You're going to be cutting it close."
"Yeah, luckily I washed my hair this morning, so I just need to take a shower and was the subway off of me, and changes and I still don't know what I'm going to wear, and I just- It's been one of those days, you know?"
"I know, I know. Look, do you want to see if there's something in my closet for you?"
"Do you think there is?"
"I think we should look." Lori said and Harper grinned before following her to the closet. The two spent a few minutes looking at dresses before Lori gasped.
"That's it, I found it." she said and turned Harper around. She held a dress up to her sister and nodded. "It's perfect."
"When did you get this?" Harper asked as she held the dress up and looked in the mirror.
"I got it for dad's wedding the time before last."
"Yeah, wore it once, they were married a year. What's that tell you?" she shrugged.
"Nothing I didn't already know about Dad, that's for sure."
"Huh." Lori sighed. "Okay, that's perfect, you've got to wear it."
"Are you sure it's okay for me to borrow it?"
"Honey, I hardly remembered I have it." Lori laughed. "I don't think I'll miss it."
"Oh, thank you so much!" Harper hugged her sister and Lori returned it before swatting Harper.
"Now go, go before you're out of time and you have to go on a date smelling like the subway!"
"Ew!" Harper laughed before going to the living room where Elle was sitting on the couch watching TV. "Honey, I'm going to go okay?"
"I love you so much, and if you need anything, you know you can call me."
"I know." Elle smiled.
"Be good for Aunt Lori."
"Come give mommy a hug." Elle laughed and got up and gave Harper a hug and then kissed her. "Oh, I love you pretty girl." she said as she gave her daughter a squeeze.
"Mommy, go you'll be late for your date." Elle whined and Harper laughed before giving her another big kiss and then giving Lori a hug, then took the subway home.
When she was showered and put on some makeup, she brushed out her hair and let it hang loose around her shoulders while she stepped into the dress and then zipped it up. The dress was a white lace sleeveless top half with a crème colored above the knee length skirt. She put on a pair of crème heels she had that were similar to the color of the skirt, and was applying a little lipstick when the doorbell rang. She grabbed her coat and deep red scarf adding a little color to the outfit and then her clutch before going down the stairs. She paused at the door, took a small breath and then opened the door with a smile.
"Oliver-" she said in surprise and slight disappointment. "What's going on?"
"I'm so so so sorry, you know I wouldn't do this unless it was an emergency-"
"Sure, of course." Harper nodded to her employee.
"It's just, the distributor is on the phone and I tried to tell them you weren't there, but he kind of freaked out at me."
"It's okay," she soothed the young German boy. "Don't worry, it's fine. Let me just- Go tell him I'll be right there." she told him before she closed her door behind her. She pulled a small notepad out and wrote a note on it to Bruce before running into the shop.
"Lookin' good boss!" Clay, one of her younger employees in college winked at her.
"Clay, go tape this to my door." she ordered as she handed the note to him. He picked up a roll of tape and saluted.
"Consider it done." he said and she moved over to the phone.
"Hello? This is she..." she sighed. "Look, I- I'm afraid I don't know you. Well I usually deal with Jerome. Oh he's out of town is he?" she asked. She was on the phone with the distributor for a few minutes before she requested to talk to the manager, and was put on hold.
"So," Clay walked over to her and leaned on the counter. "Who's Bruce? Should I be jealous? Is some other guy making the moves on my girl?"
"If by that you mean does your boss have a life of her own that doesn't revolve around this store- Yes." Harper nodded and then sighed. "Yes, I'm still here." she was leaning on the counter; unaware that at the angle she was standing she was giving everyone a very good view of her legs.
"Jerk Alert." Clay said suddenly as the door opened to the store. "That guy can't keep his eyes off your legs. And by your legs, I mean the legs that will soon be wrapped around my- Ow!" he yelped as both Harper and Oliver smacked him upside the head. "Hello sir, can I help you?" Clay asked.
"I'm uh, here to see Harper." Harper turned around quickly and smiled at Bruce.
"One second." she whispered as she pointed to the phone. He nodded and she turned back around to continue the conversation.
"So, you're the competition huh?" Clay asked and Bruce looked at the scrawny twenty one year old. "No matter, I could take ya. I'll have you know, Harper and I are very much in love."
"Ignore him please, he learned how to brew his own coffee recently." Oliver told Bruce who smiled.
"What exactly are you intentions with my girl?" Clay asked and Oliver rolled his eyes.
"Clay, go restock the bathroom." Harper ordered.
"But honey bunch-"
"Either the bathrooms or wiping down every book in the history section, your choice."
"Bathrooms it is my love." he said before doing a small spin and then dancing his way to the back. Harper hung up the phone and let out a small sigh before turning around and smiling at Bruce.
"I'm so sorry about that."
"No, its fine, I completely understand." he smiled and she nodded before looking at Oliver.
"Alles gut." he nodded speaking in German and she smiled.
"Good, let's get out of here before Clay finishes." she said and Bruce smiled.
"Good bye Harper, I'm sorry again." Oliver called as Harper and Bruce walked out of the store.
"I'm sorry about my insane employee." she shook her head and he shrugged.
"He's like a young, hyper Tony." he said and she laughed.
"I guess I didn't think about it that way." she agreed.
"You look beautiful by the way." he told her.
"Thank you, I didn't know where we were going, so I hope this is okay." she said and he nodded. They ended up at the Loeb Boathouse, which was overlooking the lake in Central Park, Tony had Pepper call ahead and book them a table overlooking the water, as they were seated they could see people in boats, Harper was looking out over the water, her eyes taking in all in before she looked back at Bruce. "This is incredible." she told him and he smiled.
"I'm glad you like it, I have to admit, I'm a little hopeless when it comes to these things." he admitted and she laughed lightly before putting her hand over his.
"You're doing just fine." she told him with a warm smile. He smiled back and ran his thumb over the back of her hand before their server stepped over to them. They talked about trivial things, both finding conversation was coming easily which was a relief as they waited for their food to come. When they finished their meal they decided to walk around a little bit, as they walked Harper's hand soon found it's way into Bruce's, he looked over at her as he listened to her talk about her daughter, he had realized early on he liked to hear stories about Elle, the charming eight year old had that effect on people. He liked it when Harper told stories about herself as well, but found she was a lot more closed off when it came to talking about herself over her daughter. He could understand that.
"So will you come?" he felt guilty when he realized she had been asking him something.
"I'm sorry?" he asked and she smiled.
"To Elle's birthday, she'd love to have you there." she told him.
"I'd love to go." he told her without hesitation and she smiled as she looked at him, then her eye caught something else.
"Oh look, it's Wollman Rink." she grinned and he looked at what had caught her attention. It was an outdoor ice skating rink.
"Can you skate?" he asked and she let out a laugh.
"I haven't skated in nearly ten years." she laughed.
"Do me a favor," he said and she looked at him. "Don't ask me how long it's been since I've skated." she laughed lightly before taking his hand in hers.
"Come on." she said as she pulled him along.
"You're not getting me out there." he told her as she pulled him to the ice.
"It's never too late to get back on the ice." she told him.
"Who told you that?" he asked.
"My daughter actually." she informed him.
"No way." he told her with a small laugh as she pulled him to the skate rentals.
"I need to buy a pair of socks too." she told the guy who was renting her skates. "What size shoes do you wear?" she asked Bruce.
"No." he repeated and she shot him a bored look. He sighed and then told the guy what size shoes to bring. "I hope you realize I'm most likely going to break my neck."
"You're not going to break your neck." she told him and he sighed before taking the skates. They checked their shoes and her purse before she put on the socks she had bought and then put on the skates. "Wow it's been awhile." she said as she stood up in the ice skates. Bruce finished tying his and walked over to the edge of the ice with her. She smiled at him before stepping onto the ice and gliding out. She was a little wobbly at first and Bruce couldn't help but laugh slightly as she waved her arms around trying to get her balance, and then found it. She sighed and then nodded to him. "Well, come on." she said to him and he sighed before stepping onto the ice, holding onto the sides as he tried to get some balance and footing. "So how long has it been?" she asked and he groaned.
"You promised you wouldn't ask." he said and she shook her head.
"I never promised that." she told him and he shook his head.
"It's been a long time. At least, twenty years." he admitted. "Why are you so good at this?" he asked when he noticed her gliding along behind to him.
"I'm really not." she said and he noticed her fingers brushing the wall next behind him.
"So, your daughter thinks it's never too late to get back on the ice huh?" he asked.
"Well, she tries to stay positive like that," she explained. "I may have paraphrased a little."
"Ah, of course." he nodded as they continued to move forward. More experienced skaters flew by them as they did a loop, trying to get more comfortable on their skates.
"I'm starting to think my dress may have been a bad idea for this." Harper said and Bruce's attention was drawn to her legs.
"I don't see anything wrong with it." he told her before he could stop himself and she blushed lightly but smiled all the same. "You know I have noticed that Elle stays positive most of the time." he told her.
"She's eight years old, why should she worry about things?" she asked and he nodded.
"I agree," he said. "And the fact that you make sure she doesn't worry, that's one of the reasons you're an amazing mother."
"Well, I try to be a good mom." she said and he caught her hand.
"As much as I've seen you interact with her, she looks up to you, you've always been there for her, you teach her how to live in the world, you're an amazing mom Harper. Don't sell yourself short. You're... Incredible." he told her and she stared at him before she moved closer to him.
She cupped his face with her right hand and put her left hand on his shoulder as she leaned in and kissed him. One of his hands was in use holding himself up against the wall while the other wrapped around her waist, holding her close to him as the two of them kissed.
When they broke apart her eyes fluttered open and he stared down at her. She leaned up and kissed him again, then pulled away from him, she spun around on the skates, skating backwards as he stared after her. "What happened to not having balance?" he asked.
"I lied, it's easy, just take the step."
Well, I hope ya'll liked the chapter, also I'd like to say something to Dana who reviewed without signing in or signing up, either way, your review was as follows: ""they told me I had to wait twenty four hours before I could report her missing and- I just I panicked"
Just a nitpick - no law enforcement officer would have told her this. It isn't actually true even for adults, and it's even less true for children...in fact, with children especially, it's crucial to start investigating the disappearance immediately, if you don't start investigating for 24 hours you've wasted a huge portion of the critical time for having any significant chance of finding the child alive."
I just want to say, I know proper police procedure when investigating a missing child, and this has to do with the plot later in the story. I hope it didn't turn you off from continuing to read.
Anyhoo, please don't forget to review!