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IN THE TIME THAT JAMES HAD BEEN SITTING IN THE KITCHEN, HE HAD HEARD NOTHING FROM NATALIA. He began to wonder if she was finally compelling herself to answer his questions. But she hadn't given him any sort of signal that she was ready. He sat at the kitchen counter, staring down at a manilla folder that was thrown open in front of him. He pressed his lips together as he hovered over the images in front of him, gathering all of the information that he needed. When he had just about everything he thought he could use, James, left the kitchen and made his way toward the staircase.

The Stark made his way up the stairs quickly, before approaching Natalia's door. He didn't bother knocking, knowing that she wouldn't be indecent. When he entered the room, his eyes landed on the redhead, who simply stared at him. He stood there for a few seconds before he approached the chair that he left by her bed. Natalia watched as he took a seat in front of her, eyeing her down.

"I know that you're not going to spill anything of true importance, Natalia because there are no important things to talk about," James pieced together and Natalia just continued to stare at him. "But I did a bit of reading, and I know who you are."

"Who am I, then?" Natalia questioned him curiously. "I would love to hear what your intelligence agency knows about me."

"Your name is Natalia Alianovna Romanova, and you were born on November 22, 1984, in Russia," James started, and he watched as the woman leaned back on the bed, listening to his intel carefully. "From our records, you were a student of the infamous Red Room, run by the KGB. You endured both an education and indoctrination into the world of spy-craft. Because of your training in the Red Room, you're known as one of the world's greatest assassins. You're ruthless earned you the codename, Black Widow."

"Everything that I know," Natalia replied to him bluntly. "Anything else?"

"Due to your expertise and growing threat to global security, you earned yourself a place on my organization's radar, prompting my boss to assign me the mission of eliminating you," James explained to her and he watched for a split second, that her eyes widened, but they quickly returned to normal. "I wasn't his first choice, though. My good friend was originally assigned, but there was something more important for him to deal with instead of you."

"Do you want a thank you?" Natalia questioned him, and James shook his head. The woman sat up, leaning forward, her eyes searching his face, attempting to find any sign of why he would allow her to live. "What puzzles me is why you've allowed me to live."

"I have been watching you for quite a while, Natalia," James admitted and she continued to stare at him as she tried to analyze him. "In my time of watching you, you've impressed me with your skill set. You're an impressive fighter, and I was trying to see if you would ever be any use to my organization."

"Really?" She asked as she raised an eyebrow, and James nodded. "Then why haven't you called your boss?"

"He doesn't like to hear that a mission has gone... unsuccessful," James answered her truthfully, and she nodded her head, understanding that wholeheartedly.

James stared at Natalia as she pieced everything together before she lifted her gaze to meet his. The two of them stared at each other, and James didn't know what was running through her mind. He knew that she wouldn't hesitate to kill him, and if the time came that he needed to put her down, he would. The mission was to eliminate her, and if she threatened his own life, he would kill her. No exceptions.

"Who are you, James?" Natalia questioned him, and she watched as the corners of his lips tugged into a small smirk. "If you are going to hold me captive, I might as well know who you are."

"James Roy Stark and I'm an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. I started working for them around four years ago since the Director believed that I was skillful enough to work under his watchful eye," James began, and he could tell that he had her undivided attention. Not like she had a choice. "Because of my last name, you probably pieced together that I am the son of Howard Stark and the younger brother of Tony Stark. I never had any interest in working for the company, I was never like my father or brother. My father never truly loved me, so I never showed him the same kind of affection. But, like Tony, my mother was the only one I ever got along with."

"A man with daddy issues, that's unheard of," Natalia said sarcastically, which made James chuckle lightly. He shook his head slightly, before meeting her gaze.

"Yeah, well, when your father is the kind of person that he was, you shouldn't expect to have a loving relationship with him," James explained and Natalia nodded her head.

"I heard what happened to your parents," Natalia spoke, which grabbed his attention. His heart hurt for a few seconds at the passing of his mother, before it went away. "How old were you?"

"Young enough," James answered her quickly. "My brother was fourteen years older than me, so I got to live with him as he worked at our father's company. Good thing him and I were close, otherwise, he would've sent me off to boarding school, probably."

Natalia nodded her head, before inhaling deeply. His eyes landed on the handcuffs that were secured around her wrists, and he could see that they were chaffing against her wrist. A sigh left his lips as he leaned over and grabbed her arm. Natalia's eyes landed on his hand and watched his movements as he took a key out of his pocket and unlocked her handcuff.

She rubbed her wrist, before her eyes landed on him once more, "Why did you do that?"

"I'm not going to hold you as a prisoner," James answered her and she stared at him, not knowing his true motives. "I'm going to let you stay uncuffed because I don't think anyone should be held like a prisoner. But I am asking that you stay here, and if you do ever need anything, tell me, and I can go get it for you."

"How do you know I'm not going to leave?" Natalia questioned.

"Well, because since I took my tracker out of my arm, S.H.I.E.L.D is probably tracking me from my last known location. And knowing them, they're going to find you as soon as you leave this house," James answered her and she just stared at him. "So I'm hoping that you're smart enough not to leave."

"You're putting a lot of faith into someone that you know what they're capable of," Natalia pointed out, and James just smiled at her.

"I know," James replied. "Don't make me regret that."

-- Author's Note --

Awe, James and Natalia are bonding :') Just writing this chapter made me think about how cute they're going to end up being. James is going to be extra protective of her, because there's going to be something that I'm throwing in soon, and you're not going to be ready for what I have planned!

( Please refrain from commenting "update" on this story. I find it rude and it doesn't motivate me to write at all. I do have quite a few more stories that I need to write for, so please, be patient! Thank you )

 I do have quite a few more stories that I need to write for, so please, be patient! Thank you )

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Executioner's Song ― 𝐍. 𝐑𝐎𝐌𝐀𝐍𝐎𝐅𝐅.Where stories live. Discover now