Artemis Peyton Bellamy who went by her middle name only due to her mothers ridiculous idea of naming her in honour of her absentee father, who in gods name named a child Artemis anyway, was beyond pissed. Her mother, Cherise Bellamy, had died a few months previously and now unless she could get her only remaining parents signature on a document relinquishing his parental rights for her court case she would end up in the fucking care system and that was something she was not willing to allow to happen.
She'd be forced to leave her home, her job and any chance at a future. So here she was, after weeks of work, outside Stark tower looking for a man she'd never met and to be honest never wanted to meet just to ask him for a favour. God that galled her, having to track the man down to ask a favour, to ask for help. She'd been taking care of herself since her mother started drinking when she was six. Had been the only one who bothered, or was able, to clean their crappy apartment in Brooklyn by 9. By 12 she handled all of the finances as if left to her mother the money meant for food, bills and rent would end up down a bottle or, as her recent behaviour had seemed to suggest, up her nose. Just two short years later she was the sole bread winner of the household and two and a half years after that her mother was dead, which to her seemed a kindness the woman didn’t particularly deserve.
She hadn’t needed anyone her whole life, she was doing just fine on her own, and she fucking hated the fact she needed the glorified sperm donor of a man who had sired her now. Taking a deep breath to calm herself down she unclenched her fist from around the file of papers she held in her hand and stepped inside.
"...I really don’t give a flying fuck about Tony 'I'm Ironman' Stark or the any of the Avengers for that matter. All I want to know is if a Clinton Francis Barton lives here and if he does can you let the jackass know someone is here to see him and it's kind of important. I literally cannot dumb that down any further for you. Now does he live here or not because contrary to popular belief I do have better things to do than talk to vapid little sorority girls too dumb to do more than sit behind a welcome desk and look pretty." Peyton snapped at the arrogant bitch that was currently the bane of her existence. She had been trying to get the dumb bimbo to understand for the past half hour that she wasn't interested in any of the supposed superhero's that seemingly were friends with the woman's ultimate boss-man but it seriously didn’t seem to be computing and it was steadily flicking all her 'I'm pissed' switches and the last one had just flipped.
"Miss if you don’t leave I will call securit..."
"What seems to be the problem?"
Peyton turned to look at the owner of the voice who had interrupted the twit she had been arguing with and saw a well built man not much taller than she was herself with sandy blonde hair, clear blue eyes and a light dusting of stubble across his square jaw. His leather jacket clung to his impressive biceps and hung open over a purple t-shirt and his hands were stuffed casually into the pockets of his dark jeans. Peyton instantly felt that this was a man she shouldn't go near, that this man was dangerous, and she always listened to her instincts. They'd never steered her wrong yet. They were how she'd gotten her job, how she knew which punters to hit up and which to steer clear of. They had helped her with all of her routines, made her movements flow like water. They were her most valued asset. But she also knew if she didn’t answer him he would no doubt call security even faster or even throw her out personally so she answered, albeit unwillingly.
"I asked her a simple question, if someone named Clinton Francis Barton lived or had ever lived here and she refused point blank to answer. It irritated me."
The man's blue eyes widened slightly before narrowing as he folded his arms across his broad chest and took a step closer, clearly in an attempt at intimidation. Peyton felt her temper flare in her at this man, yet another in a long line of men who thought they could intimidate or frighten her into submission; squaring off against him she thanked her forethought to wear her combat boots today as their thick souls added a good 2 inches to her height.
"Why do you want to know?" He demanded in a hard voice that spoke of one who was accustomed to getting the answers he desired and she was determined to disabuse him of that; he wouldn’t be getting jack-shit from her.
Blowing a long strand of shaggy champagne coloured hair out of her dove grey eyes she cocked her hip, shook her leather bracelets back into place, stuck her empty hand on it and swept a cursory look over him before dismissing his attempt at male bravado with a derisive snort. He was an absolute moron, he had pretty much just told her what she wanted to know without even knowing it.
"So he does live here then. Do you know of a way I can get in touch with him? I need to see him, like last week. As I told the sorority reject, it's kind of important." Peyton queried with a raised eyebrow and a withering look.
The man looked at her with almost open mouthed shock before shaking himself out of it and crossing his arms and looking down at her which was impressive given the slight difference in their height .
"And why do you need to see him? As you can probably guess no one here is in the habit of giving that kind of information out without some kind of solid reason."
"Because around 14 years and 19 months ago he fucked a woman and that woman got pregnant. With me. Now, said woman is dead and the only way I won't end up in the system is if he signs away his rights so I can get emancipated. So if you could, I don’t know, call the prick and let him know, that would just be fantastic." She sneered at him.
His eyes blew wide. Mouth slack. Arms fell to the side. Shock seemed to ripple through his entire being.
"Your'e my daughter?!"