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I Like My Boys Bad (And My Men Dangerous)

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Truth be told, Darcy liked pushing the envelope. She especially liked it when that envelope pushed back. So it was no surprise really that the majority of her ex-boyfriends were asshats; handsome, badass, tools to the extreme. She could admit that; it didn't stop her from making that mistake though, repeatedly.

Even while in college, she somehow managed to find the douchey guy that just couldn't give a rats ass about her, at least not beyond the bedroom. Her sister, who was a psychologist and liked to throw out fancy words at the dinner table, told her it was because she had low self-esteem and so she looked for worth in others, but dated jerks because they actually reinforced her poor self-confidence.

Eff that. Darcy loved herself just fine. She was awesome with a capital A! She was pretty sure she dated jerks because sexual chemistry was a fickle bitch that picked out the wrong types for her and then lady wood came a callin' when she looked at the wrong guy at the right time.

Don't get her wrong; some of those exes made up, in some respects, for their crap personalities with their way around a bed. But while she was all for sex, it didn't make a shitty relationship work. And in the end, Darcy was a mostly monogamous creature. She liked cuddling and hand-holding and she didn't like sharing. Meaning whoever she was with had to get real comfortable with being in a relationship or lose their all access pass to her person.

Now that she was firmly riding the Good People R' Us train, in the form of SHIELD and the Avengers, her pick of bad boys was pretty slim. Or, slimmer than usual. Honestly, just because they had a badge and counted themselves the enemy of the ol' U.S of A's enemy did not make them the best of the best. Even the Avengers, who were hot and heroic, each had their own baggage cart of issues.

Which, of course, attracted her in some weird way.

Like Clint; Barton was an assassin, a sneaky, snarky, incredibly cut assassin that she was pretty sure would rock her world six ways from Sunday. And if he wasn't shacking up with Widow, she'd put that to the test and enjoy ever headboard rocking minute of it. But, sadly, he was Natasha's bed partner and so Darcy stayed clear of that, except to occasionally trade jabs and enjoy the visual; man had arms to die for and she couldn't say she hadn't been caught fanning herself once or twice while she enjoyed the package. He was a good sport though, tossing a wink in her direction each time.

And then there was Coulson, who, seriously, she should kind of hate. He was all unemotional and an iPod stealer to the extreme. She still occasionally brought it up, partly because it made him sigh in that exasperated 'will she never forget about that?' way and partly because it had just become routine now and she didn't like breaking tradition. If she wasn't 90% sure Coulson would probably stare at her with that same frozen, frigid stare of his while they were in bed, she might actually flex her feminine charm to see what she could do about cracking the mask.

There were a few other forgettable interests, agents she couldn't remember the names of anymore, who got her engine going just by reaching for their gun or using top-secret code-speak around her. But they were passing and she never put anything into motion. Besides, cracking the agent façade was a lot harder than it seemed. Sometimes she wondered if they sold their souls when they signed up for SHIELD because most of them acted like emotionless drones.

Which was amusing, since, given her current point of interest, she thought their boss was pretty emotional. In a constantly pissed off, what the fuck is wrong with the rest of the world, am I the only one with common sense in this place, kind of way…

Fury, who earned his surname pretty aptly, was the kind of bad boy she was sure everybody would warn her off of. In fact, she could hear her sister's nasally voice listing all the reasons she shouldn't be interested.

He was much older than her.

He was the Director of SHIELD, and thus, if he wanted to, could get rid of her, no questions asked, with a simple snap of his fingers.

He was scary as all fuck and she should run in the other direction and possibly seek mental help.

Okay, that last one wasn't exactly the kind of thing Samantha would say, but the sentiment was there.

That, however, logical as it may have sounded, did not stop Darcy from getting her flirt on.

She was fairly sure that Fury was just putting up with her since, at most, he gave her a raised eyebrow that asked, quite simply, what the fuck are you doing? do you want to die today?, but she liked the challenge. And really, unless he flat out told her that she should stop, she wouldn't.

It would probably be easier for him to avoid her if his assistant wasn't on maternity leave and he needed a sub to take over, putting Darcy in the perfect position to greet him, bug him, and just generally get all up in his business all day long. Obviously he was expecting her to be more professional given her job switch and obviously he was wrong.

"Hey N-to-the-icky, we got Coulson on line two, he sounds about as harried as he can get and he mentioned something about Stark, so you might wanna answer that," she said, bursting into his office, a handful of colorful sticky notes stuck side by side along her forearm, which she held up to read. She squinted at the neon green one. "Oh, right! Hill called; there was an incident with the thing on that shippy thing." She shrugged and then flicked the fuchsia one with her finger. "Also, we're out of the good coffee you like and I put in a request but I think they're still pissed about that time you threatened to replace all the tap water in the entire building with de-caf until they got their shit together." She tucked her arms behind her back. "And lastly, what are you doing later, because I'm wearing red lace and I dare you to find out where…"

He paused, mid-way through moving something on his seriously high-tech computerized desk top, raised an eyebrow and replied, "I'll deal with Coulson; patch Hill through in twenty; I have a back-up bag of coffee beans in the secret compartment behind that freaky oil painting— you know, the one over that fichus I told you three times already to get rid of; and they're not red, they're pink." He waved his hand dismissively. "Coffee, Lewis."

She smirked at him. "Not getting rid of Freddy the fichus, and top points for learning your colors." She winked before walking out.

She was closing the door when he called out, "Lewis?"

"Yup!" she said, popping the P.

He raised his head to look at her. "Don't ever call me that again."

She grinned, shrugging. "It might grow on you."

He stared at her blankly.

"Fine," she sighed, before pointing at him seriously, "I'm gonna find a nickname you like though; keep your good eye out for it!"

She closed the door on his scowl, chuckling to herself.

Darcy was aware that her blatant flirting with the Director made others think she was insane. It was an upside, really. Nobody ever screwed with the insane ones. It helped that her boss actually kind of liked her, even if he did look exasperated by her most of the time. So if anybody ever did decide to get up in her face, she was pretty sure he'd destroy them. Then again, she had a theory about a laser eye hidden under his patch, all red and ominous a la the Terminator, that he would just bust out whenever he deemed it necessary and turn his opponent into dust.

He cocked his head at her as she told him this, lazily sitting in the chair in front of him, legs propped up on his desk.

Fury leaned back in his chair, his lips pursed. "A laser?"

She grinned, juggling the weird, pointy, metal desk ornament of his that she was pretty sure he kept around because it would make for a good weapon if he was ever unexpectedly attacked in his office. Sad, when she thought about it; because she was between Fury and any enemy and she just knew she wasn't going to make it to the final credits if anybody came after her favorite pirate.

Stacking his hands on his chest, he turned his chair. "That might be a good idea," he mused thoughtfully.

Darcy's eyes flashed. "Oh my God, are you serious?" She sat forward, pulling her feet down. "Um, yes! You should totally have it done and then you can just—" She mimed flipping up the invisible eye patch over her left eye. "Pew! Pew!" she said, making a finger gun.

His lips twitched before he shook his head and told her, "Shouldn't you be working?"

She shrugged, leaning back in her seat. "Lunch break."

He sighed. "Then shouldn't you be eating? With people of your own age…? And clearance level."

With a laugh, she shook her head. "How many people with my clearance know about your secret wall chamber of awesome?" She quirked a brow. "Or that you have an unhealthy addiction to Clark bars?"

He snorted. "That's not exactly a national security concern, Lewis."

She rolled her eyes. "No. But the point is, I'm not your average little worker bee."

"You tazed a God and then made him a fake ID; that's how you got on our radar… Average was never something anybody applied to you."

Darcy sat up a little straighter, looking proud of herself.

"You still shouldn't be sitting around in my office, not unless you have something useful to do."

She snorted. "Please, you like having me around."

He looked at her, in that 'don't be ridiculous' way of his, with a cocked eyebrow and pursed lips.

A lazy smirk tugged at her lips. "Face it; I'm just short of being your best friend."

He snorted then, his one eye widening. "That's an interesting way of twisting facts."

"Hey, either you want to be besties and trade stories about boys or you just want to give into temptation and see if your desk is as sturdy as I think it is…" She flashed her eyebrows at him.

"Those are my only options?" he asked, leaning back in his chair, eye narrowing.

"Those are your best options," she corrected.

He hummed. "Miss Lewis, are you aware of just how thin the ice you tread on is?" He tipped his head. "Or do you just enjoy tempting fate?"

"If you wanted to get rid of me, I'd be gone," she argued logically. "If I was really pissing you off, you'd have replaced me already." She shrugged. "So I figure this is one of three things; an ego boost, an amusement, or a temptation you're not willing to get rid of." She ticked them each off with her fingers.

"More than once, the fact that your behavior suggests you might be just this side of sane, has concerned me…" He watched her thoughtfully. "Although I do wonder if you'd be so willing to put your money where your mouth is."

Her lips curled slowly. "I'd be willing to put my mouth in a few places."

A dark laugh bubbled from his throat. "Did you even read the sexual harassment portion of your work contract?"

She shrugged. "I skimmed."

An alert went up then, light blinking quickly, drawing his attention.

Darcy shoved herself up to her feet and waved a peace sign over her shoulder. "Go save the world, bossman."

Over the time she'd known Fury, she'd spent far too much time picking apart just what it was about him that drew her attention. He was dark and deadly and the eye-patch with the vicious scars ringing it should have turned her off as soon as she saw it. But there was a part of her, one that she was sure Samantha would want to prod and poke and label, that liked that darkness. Those hard, defined lines that spoke of a man who had made difficult decisions, sacrificed actual parts of himself, all for a cause he believed in.

Darcy liked dedication and loyalty; it was rare to find in the men that drew her eye.

Things took a very personal turn, pushing them out of the easy comfort of sexual tension and flirtation, when she found him in his office one night. It was late, he'd shed his trench coat and was playing with the laces on a beat up pair of boxing gloves.

She'd originally gone in to tell him to pack up and go home already, the world would probably be standing tomorrow. But when she saw that distant look on his face, his brow furrowed, a haunted look in his eye, she'd paused.

"You all right, NJ?"

He looked up, an eyebrow ticked. "NJ?"

She popped a shoulder. "Nicky-Joe work better for ya?"

He grimaced.

With a light laugh, she walked further into his office and hopped up onto the corner of his desk. Leaning over, she tangled a lace around her finger. "You box?"

"Used to. Amateur." He shrugged.

"Yeah?" She tipped her head, turning her eyes up. "I could see that…" She nodded. "You in the ring with some bruiser… Jab! Jab! Left hook!" She threw her hands up. "K-O! Fury's fists, ladies and gentleman; he had no chance. No chance!" She mimed cheering, her hand curved around her mouth, before giving a sharp cat-call, and winking at him.

He watched her, eyebrow raised, but any amusement he might've felt faded quickly. "Things were easy in the ring back then; there were rules. You broke them, you lost…" He shook his head. "And then people started paying fighters off; put on a show, take a dive, dance on the puppet strings…" He shook his head. "And life imitates art."

She stared at him. "We've got a leak," she said.

His lips thinned. "You're smarter than I ever give you credit for, Lewis."

She shined her nails on her shirt and smirked at him. "I surprise myself sometimes."

He leaned back in his chair, eye narrowed. "There's a position open, overseas. I can have you there by the morning and you don't have to deal with any potential unwanted problems."

Darcy stared at him. "What?" she said, her voice flat.

He frowned. "I can have you replaced until things blow over. When we've isolated the problem, I'll have you brought back in."

Her brows furrowed. "Uh… I'm sorry… I think my brain just exploded from bullshit overload." She glared at him. "Are you trying to get rid of me?" She sat up a little straighter. "I mean, I know I hit on you every day and I completely lack subtlety, but I figured that was just the fun part of our working relationship…" She shrugged. "Eventually, you'd give in and we'd make good use of these sound proof walls." She waved a dismissive hand. "But seriously, sending me 'overseas'?" Her lips pursed. "Don't make me call you a coward." She pointed at him. "I'll do it and you won't like it!"

"I'm not getting rid of you because you completely lack any sense of boundaries." His eye widened seriously. "Although I have every reason to!"

She grinned.

"You're being moved because someone in this building is leaking important information and I'm closing in… I've left a few false trails to see what it'll turn up." He leaned further back in his chair. "Desperate men are dangerous men, Lewis…" He shook his head. "You need to be out of range when our leak comes calling."

She scoffed. "So you're gonna put some other idiot in the way while I'm chilling somewhere in Europe, waiting for a smoke signal to come home?"

"I'll have an equipped agent work in your stead," he assured. "And as soon as I know it's been taken care of—"


His jaw ticked. "Excuse me?"

"No. N. O." She shook her head. "Nej. Hindi. Nicht. Nincs."

He rolled his eye. "First, you spent far too much time on Google Translate."

She stuck her tongue out at him.

"And second, you're going."

Darcy crossed her arms over her chest. "No, I'm not! You can't just ship me off because danger, danger Will Robinson!" She threw her hands up. "We live in a building filled with assassins and a giant green rage monster!" She rolled her eyes. "I hardly think having one good guy turned bad is really a good reason to turn tail and hide!"

He sat forward slowly, staring at her hard, and clasped his hands on top of the desk. Finally, when the tension had built enough, he said, "Darcy…"

She shivered; that was the first time he'd used her first name. It was oddly smooth and rough at the same time.

"I will not put your life on the line by allowing you to be the only thing between me and a man equipped and willing to kill." He raised a brow. "You will pack up your desk, Freddy the fichus, Albert the drinking bird you waste a cup of my coffee on every morning, and June the fuzzy troll you make a wish on every morning, and you will board the jet to a safer location. Do I make myself clear?"

She stared at him, grinding her teeth, and finally told him. "Fine. Tomorrow will be my last day."

He opened his mouth to argue but she cut him off.

"That weird senator dude is calling tomorrow to talk to you and you know I'm the only one who can put him off!" she reminded. "Plus you have two meetings and I don't care how good your little agent replacement might be at killing people, he can't access my files."

His jaw tightened. "Fine."

She nodded before leaning over the desk and handing him a glove. "Now chuck me on the chin and say, 'I'm proud of you, kid.'"

He rolled his eyes at her. "Get out of my office, Lewis," he said, exasperated.

She grinned, hopping off his desk. When she reached the door, she turned her head back and said, "Green."

His eyes dropped down to her ass and his lips twitched. "Blue."

Her nose wrinkled as she wagged a finger at him. "One day I'm going to figure out how you do that."

He snorted before turning away, attention back on his old gloves.

Darcy left the room, thinking to herself that he must like her, at least a little, if he was willing to send her off to God only knows where just to keep her safe. She grinned the whole walk up to her apartment. She was unlocking the door when a hand wrapped around her hair, yanked her back, and then bashed her head against the hard wood.

"Ow! Fuck!" she cried, lifting a hand to her now bleeding forehead. "Asshole," she muttered under her breath, digging into her purse.

But just as her fingers closed around her tazer, a cloth covered her mouth. She breathed in once and then blacked out.

Her eyes were bleary when she opened them, her head moving on a limp neck, falling back against the chair that she was— yep, tied to. She rolled her eyes, cringing as her temples throbbed with a headache. "I think you have an outdated version of Kidnapping; How To," she muttered, her mouth painfully dry.

"Miss Lewis," a voice drawled. "So good of you to join us; I was beginning to think we'd given you too large a dose; it's rude to leave us waiting too long."

She snorted. "I aim to please."

She felt something cold pressed against her neck and stilled; she couldn't see it, but she was almost certain it was a knife. The serrated edge danced against her skin perilously.

She swallowed thickly and adopted a smirk. "What? No introductions? No deep monologue?"

"It's really very simple," he explained, dragging the knife down lower, nicking the skin across her collar bone.

She winced.

"I turned an agent for information—"

"I heard. Skip that part," she interrupted.

He sighed. "Manners, Miss Lewis, they're really quite important." He circled her, using the knife to drag under her hair, bouncing against the back of her chair. "The agent was valuable at first, but then Fury started to notice and—"

"Long story short, dickwad of an agent is dead because he wasn't useful anymore. Fast-forward to where you think it's polite to knock my head against a door and tie me to a chair." She rolled her eyes. "I'd love to hear your reasoning on that one."

He tisked. "Isn't it obvious?"

"Maybe it's whatever you drugged me with, but no, not obvious…"

"Simply, you're close to Fury. Everything he knows, everyone he speaks to, every file he signs, goes through you…" He laughed cheerfully. "Which means you and what you know—" He pressed the knife against her temple. "Could be vastly useful, my dear."

"Okay, flaws with this plan. One, I don't like reading. So anything Fury handed me I mostly just filed and forgot." She shrugged; that was a lie, she loved top-secret stuff, but he didn't know that! "And if I didn't, it was mostly redacted crap that made no sense. So not helpful…" She shook her head. "And two, did I not just call the agent who turned on us a dickwad?" She raised an eyebrow. "Loyalty ranks pretty high for me. I mean, I've never been tortured, but I did watch every season of Glee, so, y'know, I'm not gonna be an easy egg to crack, okay?"

"We have ways around that, Miss Lewis…" He replaced the knife with a hand around her throat, squeezing tightly. "See, the amount of people who've gotten close to Nick Fury are either dead or non-existent…" He stared at her, his beady brown eyes boring into her. "Which makes you very valuable indeed."

Darcy choked for air. "Guy barely—puts up—with me," she managed.

He tipped his head eyes narrowed. "Ah, now don't lie to me… That's not polite."

It was probably one of her less wise ideas to spit in his face, but… Well, no, she was pretty proud of that.

As he was wiping it away, she managed to inhale a deep breath. "He's gonna gut you," she said, her voice strangled. "You're never gonna see it coming."

"Now, now, Miss Lewis, I'd thought you'd be more clever."

"I thought she was fairly close," Fury's voice came then, a gun cocking as the barrel pressed against her kidnapper's head. "I'm afraid we got rid of the 'gutting' portion of protocol, but I believe my gun will work just fine, don't you, Lewis?"

She managed a smile, her gut twisting with gratitude, and shrugged. "I dunno, seems too quick for this guy… And really?" She raised an eyebrow. "Brains everywhere? Not very polite, Fury."

His lips stretched in a dark grin. "You all right, Lewis?"

"Me? Oh, I'm peachy!" She leaned back in the chair and said, "Guess we can cancel that trip overseas, huh?"

"I expect to see you back at work, as usual."

Agents filled the room around them, taking over, hauling away the bad guy and thankfully untying Darcy from the chair. She rubbed her wrists and cleared her throat repeatedly, hating how it ached in a way she couldn't fix. Before she could talk to Fury about what happened, she was ordered to see a doctor about her injuries and ushered into the medical clinic at SHIELD.

It was nearly four in the morning when Darcy was allowed to leave, wearing only scrubs since they took all of her clothes for evidence, jerks. Those were her favorite pair of jeans! She'd had them broken in just right and they made her ass look amazing!

She was warned when she left that her apartment door was marked as a crime scene still; she could go inside as long as she avoided the tape and the markers. But she wasn't all that interested in walking up to the door that cracked her head open; bandages were so not attractive.

She found herself in her office, leaning back in her chair, watching Albert as he swung back and forth, dropping his beak down into the glass of water she'd put in front of him. The constant movement was therapeutic in a way and it had her zoning out. She was tired, but in a mentally exhausted sort of way while the rest of her body still felt like it was in the middle of an adrenaline high that wouldn't quit.

She heard shuffling suddenly and scrubbed at her eyes, standing from her desk to investigate. Fury's door was shut, it always was, but she swore she could hear movement on the other side. She pushed it open slowly, careful not make a sound, but he heard; he always did.

His trench coat was shed, but he was still wearing the all black outfit; a stretchy material that made it easy for them to move but made not noticing how fit they all were practically impossible. It molded to Fury's upper body, showing off wide shoulders and a broad chest. There had always been something solid about him, something that promised strength. She wondered how many other scars he had; how many she could trace with her fingers and her tongue. What he would do as she let her eyelashes brush against them, kissing a path down his dark skin, licking and nipping as she went.

He was staring at her, his eyebrow arched, the tensed lines of his face making him look even angrier, more dangerous.

She leaned back against the door until it close behind her. "So… Did you at least get air miles from my cancelled trip?"

He ground his teeth, drawing her attention to his mouth, to the dark whiskers of his goatee. "You could've died."

She shrugged. "I probably would have." She closed one eye and raised the eyebrow of the other. "I mean, he was talking about wanting to know all the secrets of SHIELD and I was playing the loyalty card, so I mean… Probably a lot of torture and then a quick death." Her lips curved, though the reality of it was making her knees shake. "If they didn't shut me up somehow, I probably would've pissed them off pretty quick and they would've put me out of their misery."

He crossed the room in three long strides and had her by her shoulders, shoving her back against the wall, squeezing. "This isn't a game, Lewis," he growled. "There are lives involved! Your life was on the line!" He stared searchingly at her.

"What exactly do you want me to say?" she snapped, chest heaving. "He snuck up behind me outside my apartment door!" She pushed back against his hands but he didn't budge. "There was no way to avoid it!"

"If you'd've just gotten on the damn jet—!"

"What, you had it fueled up and waiting?" she scoffed. "Pretty sure I was booked for a morning flight, Director!"

"If you weren't so hot-headed and stubborn, you would've agreed to go and I'd have sent you off as soon as you packed up your office!"

"Instead of yelling at me for shit we can't change, why don't you just admit that you were scared?" She glared up at him. "You like me! Maybe it's just in a friendly way or maybe you really do want to take me up on my offer, but the reality of this whole thing is that I've grown on you and you almost lost me and that actually scares you!"

"There is no room for fear in this job! In this life!" He shook his head. "I don't have any time for relationships and you sure as hell aren't equipped to handle me or what I do!"

"Don't tell me what I'm equipped for!" She struggled against him. "You don't get to—"

His lips slanted across hers so roughly that she knocked her head back against the door behind her. Her mouth fell open on a gasp and his tongue swiftly reached forward, flicking the back of her teeth, teasing the roof of her mouth. She could feel the rasp of his whiskers against her chin, her lips, and the bite of his teeth nipping at her lip. She panted, sliding her arms around his neck; her fingers curled around the collar of his shirt and tugged, pulling him impossibly closer.

His hands fell to her waist, squeezed, and then hauled her up the door. She gave a squeak as her feet left the floor, but wrapped her legs around him when she was high enough. She grinned down into his slanting, sucking, nipping kisses. His fingers slid up under her paper-thin scrub shirt and pressed against her skin, warm and rough. She rolled her hips down against him, satisfied when he gave a deep growl and dropped one hand down to squeeze her ass, kneading it through her pants. She hummed against his mouth, her thumbs stroking against the side of his neck.

It wasn't long before she was reaching between them, pulling down the zipper of his shirt, letting her hands linger on every exposed inch of his skin. Their teeth clacked together as he kissed her a little harder, feeling her fingers as they traced a curved scar on his upper chest. Her thighs clenched; she couldn't wait to see what he would do when she had her mouth on him, on skin and scars and every reachable inch of him.

As quickly as he was kissing her, he'd stopped, pulled his mouth away, and shook his head.

She gave a whine of disapproval and leaned down for another kiss, nibbling at his lip.

He sighed, letting her, but then pulled his head back and out of reach.

"Lewis," he said, sliding his hands down, pressing at her knees to release him. He licked his lips and turned his eye away.

Sighing, she traced the strap of his eye patch with the edge of her nail and frowned. "Really? You're going to hit the brakes now? Things were getting good…"

He squeezed her thigh and turned to look at her. "I'm doing you a favor." He smiled cynically. "The last thing you need in your life is a man like me."

"I object," she argued, frowning. "Especially to the part where you keep trying to make my decisions for me."

His jaw twitched. "It's what I do, how I operate. I order people to do things and they do them."

She snorted. "Hardly. I barely ever do what you tell me to do and definitely not when you want me to."

He raised an eyebrow. "I've noticed."

Slowly, Darcy let herself down, dropping her feet to the floor. "You know you're making a mistake, right?" She stared up at him, readjusting her shirt. "I mean…" She pointed at herself. "More than willing. Actually really excited."

He grunted, but then his fingers were on the bandage across her forehead, tracing lightly, gently, with as much care as she'd ever seen him give anything. "For a minute there, you were someone I would consider a friend…" He frowned. "I can even admit to considering you something more than that."

Her heart lurched.

He shook his head, that hollow look returning to his eye. "But I have too many responsibilities, too many enemies, and feelings are very rarely a factor in that."

Darcy shook her head, reached up and took his hand, squeezing it, letting her fingers file between his. "What's so wrong with at least trying?"

He stared down at her. "Trying means having, which only leads to losing, regretting, and mourning."

She swallowed thickly. "You don't know that. You don't—"

He tapped her bandage again. "I know enough." He squeezed her hand before he released it and then took a step back, adopting the hard expression of his Director persona. "Rest up, Lewis. I expect you back as soon as you're cleared for it."

Darcy smiled sadly and gave him a half-hearted salute before she pivoted on her heel and reached for the door. She paused, looked over her shoulder, and said, "Black."

He stared her square in the eye and said, "Goodnight Darcy."

Her eyes fell as she walked away, burning.

This was the first man that ever put her first, she realized, as she let herself back into her apartment. The first one who cared enough to disregard what he wanted and make a decision that was better for her. It was a crap decision and she was fully capable of making her own, but he obviously thought he was doing the right thing. That he was being selfless and good and looking out for her while she was ill-equipped to take care of herself.

Screw that!

Darcy walked toward her bathroom, stripping her clothes off as she went, and told herself that tomorrow would be a new day. A new chance. Tomorrow she would remind him about what he was missing and why he should change his mind. Tomorrow she would start from scratch. Until eventually, he would give in again, only then he wouldn't stop.