A/N in this chapter, Natasha is 16 years old, still under the control of the Red Room. She currently goes by Natalia, but that will change soon when she meets a hawk friend of ours.

I don't own any Marvel trademarks

Enjoy!

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It was June 2007. In the warm summer air, Natalia Romanov looked up to the dark night sky. The gala had already begun, and as always, she had been late in order to make her grand entrance. It was only 15 minutes until her target was set to arrive. Her mind flashed to earlier that day…

"NATALIA! This is your last and final chance. If you do not complete this mission, do not bother coming back to us. Do you understand?!" Ivan Petrovich screamed at the Black Widow.

"I understand, Ivan." Natalia responded. It had been a long hard day of training, and she hadn't been paying attention to what she was saying. Suddenly she felt a sharp stinging on her cheek and found herself on the floor.

"You understand WHAT?" He yelled with anger in his eyes.

"I understand SIR" she practically spit the word back to him. Petrovich then tossed her a black garment bag. 'Great, I wonder what I'm wearing tonight' she thought. She had a pretty good idea though. Tonight's mission was to seduce and kill American diplomat Justin Roth. He had been sticking his nose into the Russian's business and the Red Room declared him a liability to their future success. She heard Ivan leave the room and quickly stood up and headed to her room, which was more like a cell, to get ready. When she opened the garment bag up, she saw a floor length black gown that had a slit on the side that went to her waist and a low cut neckline that left very little to the imagination. Behind the dress would be what she would need later that night, a red and black corseted top with a similar neckline to her dress, along with garter belts, a lacy black thong, and 5 inch stilettos.

She sighed inwardly. 'So it's going to be one of those nights' she thought. Even though her target was Roth, she knew he wouldn't be the only one with eyes for her. Natalia pulled her long red curls into a simple yet elegant up do, and began strapping on, and hiding her weapons. Hidden knives, a gun in her purse, a poisoned bobby pin, and her famous Widow's Bites in a specially designed bracelet form to avoid suspicion.

Once she was dressed and ready to go, she started walking towards the car that she would be driving to the gala that night.

Lost in her thoughts, Natalia didn't realize her target had arrived until she heard someone drunkenly laugh behind her.

"Can I get you a drink beautiful?" A man slurred behind her. Good god, the party started a half hour ago, and this guy was that hammered already. Brought back to attention, Natalia did a quick glance around the room until she spotted Roth at the bar. She walked away from drunken asshole number 1, and headed out to find Roth. 'Great, I bet he's drunk off his ass too' she thought annoyed. Doing her research earlier that day, Natalia remembered that the girls he usually goes for are younger women who flaunt themselves.

Natalia spots Justin by the bar, alone and with a drink in his hand. She strutted over to him, adding extra sway to her hips as she moved across the room.

"I'll take a watermelon martini, frozen, and absolutely no salt." She told the bartender once she got there, while moving to stand about 3 feet away from Justin Roth. He looked up. Well she had his attention now. She smiled prettily at him and introduced herself.

"Jennifer Wright"

"Justin Roth, now tell me why such a beautiful young lady like you is here alone tonight?"

"Why thank you! And I'm here because my boss needed someone to…um, keep an eye on things." Natalia smirked inwardly to herself when she leaned forward to allow him a better view of her chest and his pupils' dilated.

"But what is a man as handsome as you doing here all alone tonight?" She drawled in a husky voice using his same words back at him.

"Well I was here for…business reasons also, and to…get to know a few people a little better, but the party is already getting rather boring"

"I agree, I wish I could leave, but my hotel room is being cleaned and I'll have nowhere to go." She played on his sympathies and male instincts.

"Why don't you come back with me for a little while, or at least until your room is done being cleaned?" Justin offered, not so subtly prepositioning her.

"I'd like nothing better" She purred, rolling her eyes when he turned to grab his keys. 'Well that didn't take long, these men are all the same' she thought to herself. Another day, another kill. If she refused the missions the Red Room sends her on, they will kill her, and find a new Black Widow, so she survives day by day.

Justin called a cab up to the street and they rode to his hotel, meanwhile, during the ride, his hand kept sliding further up her thigh. She heard him take in a sharp breath when he felt the garters she was wearing. 'Good, this should be quick then' she thought.

When they got to Justin's room, he closed the door, and in a failed attempt at being sexy, he slammed her into the back of the door, hitting her head rather hard. Now Natalia was no stranger to pain, but she could do nothing against the headache that had begun to form. He ripped her dress off her, causing a large tear to form right down the middle. And she liked that dress too. Bastard.

Natalia quickly took charge, and suggested she blindfold him. Roth, being the idiot he is quickly agreed, assuming she had some great plan of pleasure for him. She held back a snort. The moron was actually letting someone he just met take away his sight. Now blind, Roth couldn't see Natasha take her hidden knife out of the corset, and he also couldn't see her move closer, knife in hand. She struck quickly, quietly, and effectively, killing him with almost no second thought.

The more she tried not to think about it, the more that man invaded her thoughts. During her research, Natalia had found that Justin Roth had 2 kids, a girl who was 8, and a son who was 11. Their mother, Justin's wife, was killed in a car accident 3 years ago. Now those kids had no one. And boy did Natalia know what that felt like, even if she would never admit how bad it felt out loud. She grew up without a mother or father, and knows just how hard it is to survive as a kid. Natalia began to feel foreign tears stinging at the corners of her eyes, but she had to be strong. If she didn't kill him, Ivan would kill her. She had to stay strong and survive.

Dying is for the weak.

After she stole now-dead Justin's coat to cover the rip in her dress and to keep warm in the night air, Natalia walked out of the hotel's back door and headed for the alley that would be her shortcut back to the Red Room facility.

But before she even made it halfway through the alley, all of the screaming thoughts of his family exploded in her head, and she collapsed on the ground. All Natalia saw was red. Blood was everywhere in her ledger, pouring red anywhere she looked. Then the actual tears came. She wiped furiously at her eyes, trying to stop the tears that involuntarily fell onto her face. Natasha hadn't cried in six years, and this one stupid, bastard of an American cracks that? Her body began shaking with silent heaving sobs as she tried to get a fucking grip. The Red Room had wiped all of those damn emotions of her system. Or so she thought.

And little did she know, on the rooftop above her, a watchful hawk was changing his call.