Chapter Five-The Facility

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"The facility huh?" I question and meet his shining blue eyes. "Not sure that's a good idea." Because they'll hate me or because this is leaning dangerously close to a relationship making expedition, who knows. Both probably. Either way, I'm trepidatious. A heavy sigh slips from his lips as he boards his motorcycle.

"You have a talent, Rea. Just what you did tonight will make an impact. Honestly, I don't think you think enough of yourself." He tells me with kind eyes. Well, he doesn't know the whole story behind me, does he? My mind asks silently. "Tell me you don't want to keep doing this and I'll drop it. We can be friends and I won't push you anymore." He rests his arms on his thighs as I tuck away his hanky in my pocket once again. His words spin inside my head while I try to decide.

"Friends who've seen every inch of each other's naked bodies," I add with a small laugh, grinning when Steve laughs along with me.

"Yes." He affirms, but the way he's looking at me and, honestly, the way I'm looking at him has nothing to do with friendship. Aw, hell.

"You can't even promise they'll like me, Steve. In all honesty, I'm still shocked you're as calm as you are. People, even good people like Sam and Bucky, usually hate me. At the very least." I tell him, desperately wishing for him to comprehend this. "I mean, are you aware that I could tell you to do anything, anything at all, and you'd have to? Hurting someone, yourself, all of that is a possibility."

"Are you trying to convince me to change my mind? Because after seeing someone who can do all that and move stuff with her mind, this isn't that horrifying." He jokes lightly, but there is a bit more seriousness in his eyes. I sigh and consider his beautiful eyes. A sliver of vulnerability rests on my tongue as I speak again.

"I haven't allowed myself to have a lot in my life. If I let this happen, allow myself to get entrenched in a team and multiple relationships, I've got to be sure you know what you're signing up for." Steve's eyes scan every inch of my face before his expression softens even further.

"Maybe I need to believe in someone just as much as you need someone to believe in you." He replies quietly and his words touch my heart. "Besides, you went to great lengths to keep me from being affected by you while Wanda doesn't always do the same." I smile a little at him. "I can take you to your van and you can drive it there, or we can go straight to the facility. If you want." Steve makes sure that it's my choice. Hands once again claiming those strong shoulders, I slip comfortably behind him.

"Let's see if they like me before I show up in a purple van." My hands pat his abs and he chuckles before we burst into the street.

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We arrive at the facility and it takes me a minute to remove my cheek from the leather of Steve's butter-soft jacket. After I do and look around, I'm thoroughly blown away. Soldiers run in groups across the green grounds and water shoots out of the abstract fountain. There's a landing pad for helicopters or quinjets, as well as a hanger for them to be stored in. Steve and I walk out of the garage and towards the building closest to the fountain. At least five stories, not counting a basement, and made from shining steel, glass, and concrete, it's a formidable dorm. We head in and I'm very much aware of Steve's eyes on me 24/7.

"This is the building we all sleep in. There's also the gathering rooms, kitchen, gym, pool, lab, hospital, and workshop." Steve tells me as I spin around the cavernous lobby.

"Wow," I say shortly. Everything is concrete and metal, just like the outside, but this concrete is smooth and has a light sheen to it. The ceiling is vaulted with metal beams the size of railroad ties across it. Must rise to the third floor since I can see the second-floor balcony protected by half a glass wall to my right, a bridge looping around the glass windows to the second floor on the left side. Tinted windows partially hide what looks like a big office.

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