Chapter 17: The Aftermath

She looked up at him through teary eyes, her heart pounding in her ears and the quivering in her stomach coming back so fast she thought she might actually be shaking. "What?" she whispered.

His eyes were wide and vulnerable and his hands were shaking too as he tried to get a grasp on his emotions. "I am so in love with you," he said again. "I am truly, madly, deeply, passionately, desperately in love with you."

She tried to answer him, but she choked on a sob as the tears started to stream more freely down her face and she couldn't get any words out.

He leaned over to her to reach into his jacket pocket, pulling out a handkerchief and handing it to her.

"I'm sorry," she whispered shakily, her breath coming in short, fast gasps.

He managed a small, watery smile. "It's okay. You think you're the first girl to shed a few tears over Tony Stark?"

She laughed a little, but that came out sounding like a sob too.

He sighed deeply. "I just…. I love you so much that it hurts and honestly, it's terrifying. I know that you can't possibly feel the same way, but… I just thought you should know."

"Tony," she whispered, reaching out a hand to touch his face.

He breathed in deeply as he leaned into her caress.

"Tony, baby," she said again. "I love you too. So, so very much."

His eyes widened in disbelief as he pulled her close to him, his hands still shaking. "That's why you're crying?"

She nodded. "I just… I have all these feelings for you, and it scares me too," she said quietly.

He wrapped her tightly in his arms, drawing her into his chest. "You don't have to be scared," he promised. "Your heart is safe with me."

She tilted her head back to kiss him softly. "And your heart…. and everything else in there, is safe with me," she whispered.

He smiled, kissing her forehead, her cheek, her neck, her shoulders and she held on tightly to him and suddenly he was embracing her back so hard that he lifted her up off the ground, practically carrying her through the glass doors.

"In here?" he asked, his lips still pressed against hers and she nodded, eyes closed as she continued to kiss him, with her hands grabbing onto his shirt and her mouth opening against his.

He kissed her back, long and slow as he carefully slid his jacket off her shoulders, his hands gently brushing along her newly bared skin.

She carefully undid the clasp on the pearls, placing them safely on top of his dresser. "They really are beautiful," she said softly. "It was an honor to wear them tonight."

"They're even more beautiful wrapped around your pretty neck," he murmured, lowering his head to kiss her there and she closed her eyes as his lips traced a feather light pattern where the pearls had just been, from her throat, to her collar bones, to the tops of her breasts.

She breathed in deeply as he kissed her, running her hands over his back.

"J.A.R.V.I.S." he called suddenly. "Please ensure we have privacy while I make our guest more comfortable."

"As you wish," J.A.R.V.I.S. replied instantly. "Good Evening, Miss Romanoff."

"G'night, J.A.R.V.I.S.," she said as everything went quiet and the lights dimmed until they went out, leaving a peaceful atmosphere as the moonlight flooded through the glass doors.

"We're alone," Tony said quietly, sliding his hands down to her hips as he continued to kiss her.

She slipped her tongue easily into his mouth, her fingers gently moving through his facial hair as she touched his face.

He let out a sound that was close to a whimper as she deepened the kiss, wrapping his arms around her waist and she was glad he was holding her pretty steady because she thought she might melt against him as his tongue artfully explored her mouth.

She let him ease her over to his bed, let him cradle her across his lap, his lips never leaving hers.

"Comfortable?" he asked, the seam of his mouth catching her upper lip and she nodded, breaking the contact long enough to kiss his neck as they sank down together.

He placed a steady hand behind her head as she settled back against the endless expanse of pillows, his other hand pressed into the mattress, supporting half of his weight as he closed his eyes, clearly enjoying what her lips and tongue were doing to his neck.

"Tony," she whispered, as she tugged softly on his shirt, trying to articulate how badly she just wanted to feel him on top of her while his lips found hers again.

"Tasha," he murmured and she thought that maybe he understood because his legs were moving slowly against hers as if he just needed to be close to her too.

He slowly let himself sink into her, one hand tenderly stroking her hair as he gazed down at her, the other working its way around her back, his thumb gently brushing against her spine. "Baby," he whispered, his fingers touching the zipper at the back of her dress. "Want me to loosen this up a little bit?"

She nodded, reaching for his vest as he slowly dragged the zipper down. "You too?" she asked.

"Mmmmmm-hmmmmmm," he answered with his lips against her jaw as he gently kneaded her breasts through her dress.

She undid the closures on his vest, gently sliding it down his arms before she went to work on the buttons of his shirt. His hands were delicately exploring every inch of her newly bared back as he continued to kiss her tenderly, her hands moved to caress his chest once she'd managed to get his shirt undone.

His breathing grew heavier, she could hear it in a steady rhythm and feel it on her face in between his soft kisses and she smiled- it was the only indication he'd given her so far that he was turned on. Her own breathing hitched as he lowered his head to kiss the tops of her breasts and she knew that her underwear was probably already soaked through, but having him just resting on top of her, gazing at her softly as they slowly slipped their hands beneath loose clothing and kissed each other gently and tenderly was so intimate and sexy that she was in no rush.

She nipped lightly at his jaw, moving her hands down to his stomach, carefully feeling all of his tight muscles, feeling his torso rise and fall with every breath he took as he kissed her. He moaned softly as her hands applied more pressure to his skin, sliding purposefully down his belly and now she knew for sure that he was turned on.

His hands were slowly caressing the insides of her thighs through her stockings, after a moment he carefully pulled them off of her, returning his hands to her bare skin.

She whimpered under his lips and his fingers inched higher, slowly tracing the seam of her panties, letting out a shaky breath when he realized she was already wet.

"Okay?" he whispered against her ear.

She nodded, locking her eyes on his intense gaze and he dipped his whole hand beneath the lace, cupping her wet mound.

"Baby," he moaned, slipping two fingers inside her and she cried out. "I love how wet you get for me," he said huskily, a gleam shining in his eyes as he pushed.

She could only whisper "Tony," gasping as he touched her intimately like he knew how.

"God, you're so soft," he whispered, his other hand moving under her dress as he tried to tug it down.

She reached down to his hips, undoing his belt buckle and slowly sliding the leather through his pant loops as he continued to finger her.

"Tony," she whispered again, her voice needy.

"I'm right here, baby," he murmured, the heel of his hand pleasuring her on the outside while his fingers continued to slide in and out of her.

She unzipped his pants, undid the closure and pushed the placket aside to feel him through his boxers. His breath hitched and she pulled them down, slowly taking him into her hand.

She could feel her inner muscles react involuntarily to the pleasure he was giving her sex and she knew he could too. She circled her thumb around his already moist tip and he let out a deep moan. Her hand found a firm grip and she slowly began to stroke him from base to tip, rubbing her thumb against the side of his cock in a way that made it twitch in her hand.

His own hand was speeding up his pace inside her, his fingers eagerly pushing in and out in a steady rhythm and she came, moaning softly as she felt a fresh gush of wetness.

He pressed a kiss to her forehead, murmured a hushed, "Relax. And please don't make me stop."

Her eyes widened as she realized that he hadn't stopped fingering her, his fingers moving inside her with the same speed as she rode out her orgasm and she gripped the mattress tightly, squeezing her legs on his hand as she came a second time, before the spasms from her first orgasm had even subsided.

"Tony, please," she whimpered, not even sure what she was asking him for.

"Just trust me," he whispered, moving one of his legs over both of hers, which she hadn't even realized were trembling. He didn't let up, pushing his thumb inside her and pressing it against a spot that drove her wild with pleasure as he rubbed her.

"Oh God, Tony!" she shouted as she came a third time, reaching her hand down and closing it around his wrist.

He waited until he couldn't feel her muscles spasming anymore before he took his fingers away, kissing her deeply and passionately.

"I need you," she whispered against his mouth, one hand still wrapped tightly around his erection.

"Should I get a condom?" He asked softly with his lips still pressed to hers.

She shook her head. "I just want to feel you inside me."

She felt his cock jerk again. "Oh, God, I want that too," he said breathlessly. "But I don't think I'm going to be able to stop, Tasha."

"Don't stop," she whispered and he moaned. "It's okay," she assured him. "Don't stop, Tony."

He moved his hand down to where hers was still holding him, wrapping it around himself and guiding it in slowly.

"Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh," she moaned as he gently pushed into her.

"Tasha," he whispered, his gaze locked on hers as he slowly slid all the way in.

She leaned her head back, her eyes still watching his face as her body reacted to his.

"You okay, baby?" He asked, his hand pushing her hair away from her face.

She nodded wordlessly, nudging his hips with hers and he was still gentle as he began to thrust.

Even with his sex buried in hers, she still felt like she couldn't get him close enough and she squirmed in frustration.

"What's the matter?" He whispered softly.

"I want…." She murmurmed.

"What do you want, my darling?" He asked as he kissed along her neck. "You tell me anything you want and I'll give it to you."

"Want you on top of me," she said breathlessly, even though he was already on top of her.

He kissed her softly, clearly understanding what she meant as he let himself relax into her, pressing his stomach against hers and crushing her breasts to his chest and she wrapped her legs around his waist, moved her hands to his back to hold him in place as he slowly rocked against her.

"I love you," he whispered as they moved together.

"I love you too," she whispered back as he kissed her.

They didn't speak after that, their heavy breathing, gentle kisses, and quiet moans the only sounds as they made love.

She could feel when he was close and she rolled her hips against his, he buried his face in her neck as he came with a loud groan.

His sharp thrust as he spilled into her was enough to undo her and she flew over the edge a fourth time for him with his cock still inside her.

He rolled over onto his back once they had both caught their breath, pulling her against his chest.

"You're something else," he murmured with a lazy smile on his face, eyes glittering in the darkness.

She reached her hand up to push his sweaty hair away from his forehead, her hand dragging down slowly until it rested on his arc reactor, next to her face which was already pressed to his chest.

He stroked her back softly with his fingers. "What do you say? Think it's worth sticking around here for awhile?"

She grinned as he didn't even flinch when she gently traced the scar tissue. "I think so."

Author's Note: I started writing this fic when I first saw Iron Man 3, over 6 years ago. I wasn't a huge fan of the Tony/Nat ship but I had originally written the first chapter of this fic as a prelude to something else and it took on a mind of it's own. After the first 10 chapters, other ships and other things took my attention and I kind of forgot about it for awhile until I randomly found it again on my old computer and re-read it, as well as some of the comments and dm's I've received in support of this fic over the years.

Whether you've been reading from the beginning or are just finding it now, thank you!

I decided to end this part of their story here as they finally confess their feelings for each other, but these guys have so much more story to tell! Stay tuned for the next multi-chapter fic in my "I'd Rather Fly" series: "Flying High." Natasha gets a glimpse of what it's really like to date Tony Stark, and Tony will have to find a way to share her with Hawkeye.