Beginning Anew

Leaving behind a Superhero life is about the easiest thing to do. Being called back in, no matter the circumstances, is the hard part. Especially when there's more reason to stay hidden. My OC is a main character, please be advised.
This is an Avengers drama. I own nothing, only a couple ocs. No copyright infringement intended.

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31. It Was Bruce

         Liara was, needless to say in panic mode as she made tracks to cover her private affairs. With the knowledge of in any given moment Banner, in the guise of an overly large hardheaded green musclebound being would seem to just fall at her feet. Purple hair was flung while turning to analyze her surroundings, giving one last look. Making sure that unknowing eyes weren’t able to decipher the secrets that laid within. There was a release of an amused chuckled sigh while the thought over that Hulk scenario filled her imagination. Then her mind went from him, quickly to the man truly behind the gentle natured beast. In the way that he, for some reason felt so obligated to see about her since her return into the fold.

        “Ugh sometimes I just can’t stand you Jekyll. You take it all upon yourself to become some stinking Prince Charming, which makes me a Damsel In Distress. Fuck.that. I don’t need no man taking care of me, I’m more along the lines of The Queen Of The Dammed. Ha, yeah that sounds sooo much better.” An accusing chuckle, “ha distress, I need no man. Most of them aren’t even good for the one thing that they are supposed to be useful for. Annnd right.on.cue.” Liara closed the door behind her in leaving the house. She thought it better judgment in waiting on her uninvited company outside.

        He was miles off still, however Liara picked his scent up on a passing breeze as if Hulk was holding her tight within his warm embrace. Although intoxicating as his natural aroma was, beyond powerful and full of testosterone, Liara only allowed herself one last whiff. Leading eyes to roll closed. Her body shivered, causing her flesh to chill over, out of nothing but sheer attraction. Liara regained composure. Reopened her now dimming eyes, while crossing her arms in attempt to calm the coldness now consuming her entirety. He was still too far off, even for her eyes. However, Liara knew that Hulk was only a jump away from being able to reach her exact location.

        Then she heard it. A heavily self-satisfied grunt. Indication the huge green beast was pleased with himself in being able to find Liara and her whereabouts. Yellow eyes rolled, in the ability to mentally paint the smirk Hulk held in his locating skill. A coy giggle escaped her lips. Before the woman was even able to curse herself for feeling like a bright eyed teen with her first crush, Liara caught sight of him.

        A swallow followed by a wetting of the lips as Hulk made one last glide through the air.

        Liara mentally pushed herself to began her walk across the huge lush, well manicured front lawn. To the edge of a dense thicket growing just on the other side of the wide dirt drive, leading to the large home in which she was now taking refuge. In seeing how her oncoming company was going to overpass this part of vegetation, Liara backtracked a few feet into the yard. As Hulk came into his decent, he landed in the middle of the drive. A thick cloud of dust now surrounded and hid the beast. Yellow eyes rolled, even though she could at least admit to herself, she overly enjoyed his entrances. As the cloud cleared, the green being lifted with a smirk in seeing Liara.

        The two made themselves slowly one toward the other. Liara, while strolling to Hulk, unzipped her jacket for offering the man who with each step was smoothly changing back to his human side. Refraining herself from stealing a look at his bare torso, Liara held Bruce’s stare. Which was however even harder than originally planned. She lowered her head as she finally extracted her right hand from the sleeve.

        Bruce began overtaking Hulk as soon as he saw Liara. The woman was just there in front of a large three story Victorian home. A style he remembered she once told him she had always loved. Complete with the wrap around porch and swing. A house in the middle of nowhere. Again which was something right down her alley, hell Banner could admit even his. Liara was dressed in all black and slowly making her way to him. There was a light breeze that cut him to his bones. When he finally was in reach of the woman he had come to see, her jacket was offered with an extended arm.

        “Here, you need this more than I do.” When Liara lifted her head, her bangs freely fell, covering her left eye. “I mean unless all that taco meat keeps you warmer than I think it does.”

        “Umm, thank you.” Bruce accepted the clothing, as Liara slowly pushed the hair from her face. Why was it every movement made on her part was more seductive than intended when they were so obviously innocent. She furrowed her brows for a fraction of a second as if she knew he was staring.

        Liara kept eye contact with Banner while brushing her finger across her brow, to push her hair aside. There was a quicken of his pulse which she chalked off to the pass of yet another frigid gust of wind. When Bruce looked down to zip the jacket, yellow eyes followed. However her reaction included quite a bit more. A bite of the left lower left lip with a quick tilt of the head to the left, complete with a raised left brow in lustful appreciation. When Banner began to look up, Liara returned to wearing an emotionless face. When brown eyes held her gaze once more, she raised her brows questioningly, “better?”

        “Quite.” He offered.

        A nod followed without a seconds hesitation by Liara reaching around either side of Bruce’s neck to fix the hood on the jacket. “There.”

        “Turned out hoods still irk you.” Banner, knowing what she was doing, let alone what was going to come from her mouth.

        A tilt of the head to the left once again as Liara this time stared into brown eyes, “you took back control effortlessly, you are getting so much better at it. It also seemed as if there was no pain this time. I'm really glad.”

        Bruce shoved his hands into either pocket and pushed down, “ehh, that. Only achievable when in your presence.”

        With his statement, Liara’s eyes guided her head to gaze at the soft grass underneath them. She then turned and began to the house. “Well, whatever caused it, it’s useful. Think of the time that you would gain in being able to disguise yourself. Instead of just jumping away and being on everyone’s radar.”

        “That is a valid point, however it presents the fact in which you would have to stick around more than let’s see, two days at a time.” Banner closed in and took to Liara’s right flank.

        The woman nodded, “mmhmm, that or you could, I don’t know. Keep some of my blood around you and no need for me. Boom. Problem solved.”

        There was a silent sneeze just his left. “You have a cold?”

        “No. I am recovering.” Liara flatly stated.

        Banner stopped her movement by way of an extended arm, blocking her path. “Same difference.”

        “No. Don’t look at me like that Jekyll, and don’t be taking my words. Also yes I can see you out the corner of my eye. I did some things, got some things, currently recovering from said things. And giving you my jacket ain’t helping my cause. So can we do this iiiinside the house. Unless you are planning on leaving me once again, then can you hurry it up.” Narrowed yellow eyes rolled.

        Banner grabbed Liara by the arm and basically dragged her up the stairs, across the porch and into the house. “I came here for you. I’m not leaving without you.”

        A long hiss as the abnormally strong man loosened his grip, “ow, Jebus man. Be careful with the merchandise. I really truly don’t want to fight. Can we please have civilized conversation like we did literally just five seconds ago.”

        “Tell me the truth.” Bruce furrowed his brow as he turned to face her.

        Yellow eyes took in the red hand print around her right upper arm as she leaned back onto the wall leading to the living room. “Not now. That hurt bruh.”

        “Dammit Liara.” Banner lowered his heavily bearded face into his right hand.

        A coy smile. “That was sexy, say it again.”

        Bruce cut his eyes.

        A stink face was returned. “Okay, whatever. Have a seat, I’m tired of this thing that we are doing. I’m over always arguing with you. I told you the truth, but since I’m me, I just haaave to be lying, of course. Like I said, I did a thing, caught a thing, and am now rapidly recovering from said thing. And by thing I mean thiiing, unless you want me to speak on your level. I apparently participated, however given the fact the subject of conversation is moi. There is high speculation, which is completely unfounded might I add, that I initiated said coti...”

        Bruce paced away from the woman that chunked herself on an overly large plush black couch that spanned the length of the living room. “Liara, I understand.”

        “Good. Cause speaking like you is quite a bore.” A smirk as she could feel the eye roll he was giving the back of her head, for the fraction of a second he took in looking over at her.

        Banner studied the surroundings in which he stood. This seemed like an ordinary home, but then again, Liara was anything but a normal woman. And with this being said, he all too well knew there had to be more than meets the eye about this place. His eyes scanned the rooms once more. Spacious living room with a black ensemble. Large television, everything here seemed to check out. Bruce crossed his arms as he brainstormed.

        Liara shook her head and rolled her eyes as she knew what the scientist was doing. She turned around on her knees. Crossed her arms on the back of the sofa. Rested her chin on them and contently goggled at Bruce. “Anything to avoid conversation with the crazed one I see.”

        “Not going to bite.” Bruce scratched at his thick, heavily salt and peppered beard as he now studied the ceiling of the dining room.

        “Annnd that was always your problem.” A playful raise of her brows when the man turned his head to take her in.

        As Liara now turned her head to lay her right cheek on her crossed arms, Bruce noticed the mole located just below her left eye. He quickly remembered all the times he, just like now, resisted the urge to trace it with his thumb. “Why are you looking at me like… like that?”

        Liara’s right cheek went taut as a smirk overtook her face. “That.”

        Bruce nervously looked around his person. Clueless that all his fumbling was what Liara was enjoying.

        A giggle came from the woman on the couch, whom now laid down completely out of his sight. She gazed to the ceiling, shook her head as she rubbed her right cheek. Her voice almost a whisper, however full of lightness. “You never change.”

        Bruce made his way closer, leaned over the back of the couch to gaze down into the two golden orbs that held a familiar warmness.

        His face in Liara’s opinion, pleasantly changing her line of sight as he began, “I do. However you are the one who hasn’t changed a day in four years. Look at me, all gray...”

        “That shit is sexy, hell you mean. You, not so much. But this.” Liara reached up for his beard but Banner backed away before the heat from her touch provoked something deep within him. His sudden movement delighted the yellow eyed woman, as a giggle turned into an entertained chuckle.

        “Oh it’s like that?” Liara spoke through delighted laughter, still laying in her spot. Once again taking in the ceiling.

        Bruce was now skittish, having his arms crossed as he eased away from the couch. “What... what are you playing at.”

        "Nothing. I was telling you that your beard was covering up the ugly, then you got all up in your feelings. I mean if it’s like that, I can help you.” She spoke to the back of the sofa.

        “Liara, I want you to stop playing and be serious for one second.” The tone in his voice was that of an upset parent, wanting his child to act accordingly.

        “I thought I was.” Liara lifted from her resting spot, shrugged then gave the handsome doctor a once over. “Ohhhh, I see. Four years, and you forgot the person that I was tortured to be.”

        “I didn’t mean it like that.” Bruce unlatched his arms then thrust his hands into the hoodie pockets.

        “You used to enjoy my company, even my touch. Member, you member.” There was a satisfied moan that resonated from her throat. “Something more than beautiful came from that.”

        His entire demeanor changed. Unwilling to challenge her anymore. “I messed that up.”

        “I know.” Liara sighed. “But since I’m a big girl, I cried my tears dry. Tried to kill myself various times, then sunk my teeth into another. Talk about blessings in disguise.”

        “How was he?” With his question, one Liara knew he really could not handle if given the truth. She decided vagueness the best policy to sparing Bruce's feelings.

        A shrug and a seemingly careless answer. “Delicious, sooo much better than you.”

        “I’m completely serious.” His tone and demeanor changing, becoming more aggrieved.

        And there it was, peeking it's ugly little head. What Liara tried to avoid. However if he wanted a little more, then why not. For it was the truth, and Liara never was the one to lie. “And I’m not? He saw every ugly, fractured part of me and was man enough to stay and fix me. He was my glue. Held me together. Filled in every broken part of me. Showed me that even someone as screwed up and damaged as I, deserved the entire world. So just tell me again how was I not being serious.” Her tone was slow, non-menacing. But more than anything else, meaningful and heartfelt.

        Banner furrowed his brow, sorry in his pressuring. But he wanted, no. He needed to know. She was the one still holding his heart captive. He knew it the moment in that first glance of Liara after four years. When she walked into sight within his lab, everything came flooding back. All the raw emotions he tucked so far away. Feelings he promised to never have again. The ones where everything seemed to be so right. So happy, warm, and more than anything else, promising. The same feelings he swore off, when he became cursed the day he became the monster he now was.

        The way Liara was looking at him. Like he was the one that still could control her every movement, he the one with the power over her heart. If she only knew half of the feelings being near her produced. Again with Liara being who she was, her abilities only added more stress to the situation Bruce was having with himself.

        His thinking quickly changed. How everything with Liara in this moment of time seemed normal. Everything but the fact he tore her heart to shreds, still hovered dangerously close. The memory of circumstances that commenced events he wished every single time seeing Liara's beautiful face that could be taken back. For those chain of events, dark and dire as they were, even though true and heartfelt were just expressed so horribly wrong. Also led her eventually to the arms of another. Ones apparently strong enough to erase her pain. The fact this guy was able to actually reach her, and become her husband no less, awoke something within Bruce himself. Even more so that this man did things for her that he couldn’t trust himself to do, drove him insane with jealousy.

        “You truly cared for him didn’t you.” Yes, it was honest jealousy masked as innocence.

        Liara huffed while letting her head fall. Turned her back on Bruce and walked to lock the front door.

        She took a huge breath, which was let go even slower. “Jekyll," lowering her head as she watched her own hand slide down the door to fall at her side. "I never get what I want in life. Figured that out years ago,” she turned to face deep deciphering yet always gentle eyes. “Long before you were even known to me. When you were in your prime, so young, and absolutely gorgeous. You know, when you were doing that white girl. I make do with what I'm dealt. Not saying that most don’t get what’s coming to them, just that some of us are never dealt a winning hand.”

        “You keep speaking in circles, Liara.” the doctor took a step to his right, blocking the oncoming She Wolf’s path. “I just want to be able to sit with you and discuss what happened to you over these years.”

        A purse of heart shaped lips to the right, “I want food. Excuse me.”

        Banner refused to move, knowing Liara was going to avoid anything having to do with her life from her abrupt departure, up until now.

        “Ugh.” Liara tried to maneuver around the man, which at one point in time she would have killed to have standing so close. Threatening to use his might upon her, to stop her in her tracks.

        She forced the feeling down deep, and pushed past him. At least Liara thought. As soon as she brushed past, a hand gripped her shoulder ever so lightly. Unable to command her feet to move, Liara took a deep calming breath as her body chilled over.

        “You do understand you are going to inform me what is going on with you and just why you have returned.” Bruce whispered his threat as he turned and eased closer behind her.

        There was rage behind her menacing laugh. “You are playing with fire old man. I advise you to lay off.”

        Liara leaned her head side to side, cracking her neck with each movement while listening to his intoxicating voice. One which continued to whisper into her right ear. “You can’t hurt me.”

        The woman threw her head back with an evil cackle. “I don’t need to lift a finger to hurt you.”

        Banner took a step closer as his fingers now began to dig into Liara. This provoked a disapproving snarl from the She Wolf now content on cleaning the gunk from beneath her pink polished nails. “Back.off.me.”

        The heat from his breath was what bothered her. That and his aroma. Then there was his warmth. God, everything about him was enticing Liara. Who was she even kidding. She pleaded he wouldn't close the inches between them. And right on cue, Bruce seemed to know exactly what she didn't need him to do.

        “You really shouldn't.” Bright glowing eyes closed as a pleasure-filled smirk graced her face.

        There was something dark in his voice, which easily melted Liara's soul. “Because you said?”

        "Because you will have to explain to a three year old, just why you can't keep her Madrina from within your embrace." Liara leaned her head against his. When their temples touched, glowing yellow orbs opened, followed by a seductive moan. "You would also have to explain what's going on just there. Of course, if you want, you can show me what that's for." (Godmother)

        All in one sweep Bruce spun Liara to face him. "Those eyes tell me everything."

        The woman cut him a look. "Good, then they should let you know that I'm furious. You manhandling me," Her eyes lowered to take in what she felt seconds earlier.. "And with a hard ass..."

        Liara pushed Bruce hard on his chest, catching him off guard. Breaking herself free of his grip, as she heard the child seconds away from bursting into the living room. "You are supposed to be sleeping."

        Liara squatted to receive the child into her embrace. The tot ran into her arms, a hug led to a raise of a cocky brow and smirk while taking in the man walking just behind the girl’s left shoulder.

        "Oí un ruido." Liara brushed stray strands of hair from the toddler's face, then kissed Rosa on the brow before beginning to stand. The woman slightly held her hand out with two fingers extended, as the child seemingly on reflex, grabbed them. The yellow eyed woman led Rosa to the kitchen. (I heard something)

        After Rosa was given warm milk, she was tucked into bed and quickly dozed off. Liara felt the intense eyes that never once lifted their inspecting stare from her. Thoughts ran through her mind as heartfelt hopes and dreams were once again remembered. Ones she knew would never come to her, always just beyond reach.

        As she sat on the edge of the bed, Liara cut her eyes over her shoulder. Taking in the man who stood just within the door frame. He was leaning onto the pane, arms crossed carefully observing her every move with complete attention.

        There was one more kiss to the brow as Liara whispered into the babe’s ear. As the woman righted herself, she spoke this time to Banner.

        “Why are you afraid of her?” With her back to the man, whom on the sound of her voice, inched into the bedroom.

        With his arms still crossed, Bruce took in the entire sight of Liara and Rosa. Even he could admit, amiss her antics, Liara was a natural mother. He shook his head to onlooking yellow eyes.

        One last caress of the head, Liara lifted herself from the bed. Placing a nightlight into a plug next to the bedside nightstand, “ah, it’s me then. Got you.”

        Banner followed the woman as she exited the bedroom. He switched the light off. “And just why am I scared of you.”

        There was one dry chuckle, “a child around me puts fear in you. Why? There are tons of people in the world that don’t deserve children, but continuously have them. One psycho lunatic more won’t hurt right.”

        “That is not it at all.” As they walked, there was a furrow of his heavy brow.

        Liara already knew the reason was far from this, but the actual explanation was tragic, and something she refused to think about. She decided to let the subject go before anything became worse.

        A shrug from in front of Banner. Liara continued at a slow pace, leading the significantly older appearing man back down a flight of stairs once again to the kitchen. She opened the fridge as Banner was close behind. Leaning in to find something to drink, a smile crept onto her face. She took a breath and righted herself while extracting a bottle of juice.

        Liara walked to a bar stool located just behind her handsome company. Right in the middle of the extremely large kitchen. “Excuse me.”

        Making sure there was body contact, Liara pulled up a seat.

        Banner took a seat directly in front of her. Yellow eyes minded their own business across the table as they took in the pink grapefruit juice, that was being swirled around in its container. As Bruce put his elbows on the table, those same piercing eyes took a peek at him.

        Liara was playing with the bottle of juice within her grasp. The air was thick, and she refused to be the one needing to clear it. It was fine the way it was. Bruce was the one with something eating at him, not her after all. A sniffle after she took her eyes off him.

        “Exactly how did you get sick again?” There was clear certainty within his tone.

        A raise of the left brow was returned while Liara stared at the pink liquid making a funnel inside its plastic container. “That’s not the question that you wanted answered, so try again.”

        “You think you know me so well...” Bruce began, with a small taint to his voice.

        With his words, Liara released the bottle with extra exaggeration. “And I don’t?” Refusing to tear her eyes away from the swirling until it calmed.

        “No one understands.” A heavy furrow.

        Crossing her arms and leaning back in her chair now. Liara gave the man in front of her, her undivided attention while he spouted sheer ignorance. Yellow eyes narrowed, as sarcasm left her mouth. “Really.”

        “At all.” Failure to see what the woman in front of him was doing.

        “Okay.” A sing-song agreeing tone.

        He crossed his arms angrily as he took Liara in. “Not even you.”

        “Sure.” A nod with a pleasant tone.

        Another deep furrow. “In the least.”

        A pout of the lips. “Clearly.”

        “Never have.” His tone changing.

        A shake, and still a pouted bottom lip. “Nope.”

        “Stop it.” Bruce was heated.

        “What IIII do?” Faux defensive laughter. “I was agreeing with you.”

        “That’s just it.” He threw a hand up in disapproval.

        A nod. “Right.”

        “And there you go again. I don’t even know why I even try.” He rolled his eyes. Stood. Tucked his arms in and walked to the sliding kitchen doors, taking in the extensive yard.

        “Oh you tried it alright.” A chuckle with an even more cynical tone as yellow eyes did nothing but stare at his reflection in the glass.

        A slight turn of the head, catching sight of her heated glare. “I wh...”

        “Boy, ain’t no one in here stupid, so come again. All this poor pathetic me shit that I am forced to listen to right about now ain’t.flying. Are you really serious right now. Are you? Really. Cause if you really want me to go in, I so can. Let’s see. You know you are full of shit. I know you’re full of shit, hell, every fucking body knows you’re full of shit. You just hate the damn fact that you have no clue as to what I have done, no wait, hold up correction whooo I have done these past few years, it’s killing you. It's eating the hell out of you.” Liara circled her hand inches before her own face as she never lost eye contact with reflected brown eyes. “All.over.your.face.boo.boo. You all up in your feelings cause youuuuu let me go. Since I was the dumpee, tell me again just how that works? Nevermind, your damn issue noot mine."

        "However since you want to do this, let's have a go. Okay, let’s see," pink almond nails started counting each point as she made them. "Wayyy bigger than you. Take that how you will for it was meant exactly as that. Let's not forget younger, far better than you. Compassionate, dominate, understanding. Nurturing. Not ashamed of me. But hold on, the biggest question that is hounding you and getting under your skin, how could I ever forget. Hear me out now, I noticed ever since you first saw me with her in Mexico. Children. For some goddamned reason that only god knows, you claim you can't and won't have them, I ain't even going to go there, cause yeah. And no, I could never get pregnant by him. So there, are we all caught up, are we happy now. Have I given you satisfactory justification to my life? Hmm? Cause I could go on.”

        Banner tried to interrupt various times, but how could he. Knowing this information was indeed what he wanted. Nonetheless as painful as most was to hear, it was true and besides, Liara knew him like a book. She knew exactly what, how much, and when to say it to get a rise from him.

        “I already know what you have been doing since I’ve been gone. I don’t even need to ask. Far beyond predictable Jekyll. Sexy little red number.” There was a shrug and a pout of the bottom lip. “Can’t say I blame you, I mean just look at her. Absolutely everything I'm not or will ever be. Just be careful. While I am believed to be the whore.”

        “Don’t say that.” Her reflection in the glass door, giving off more than steam.

        “Ohhh, taking up for her, dawwww” was spoken through sarcastic laughter. “I got money, you left her ass too.”

        “Liara, don’t.” A furrow of his thick gray brow with her words as he placed palms on the glass in front of him.

        “Don’t what? Speak the truth?” Yellow eyes narrowed, as they took in their own reflection.

        The anger and aggravation was more than mounting. Liara was pushing him. Tightly clinched fists now rested on the sliding door. “And what truth is that?”

        “That she loves you. Even though you hurt her.” A shrug as Liara was the one now with crossed arms.

        Bruce contested, with a high raised brow. “She does, doesn't she.”

        The laughter that he received back, just pissed him off more than anything else. “You think I love you? Are you for real right now? I mean really real? Soooo. One, moving on. Two, letting another man, my husband no less, kiss me. You already know what that does and means for me. So don't eeeeven. Three, him making me his every night, reminding me just whom I belonged to. Mrs. Maluhia...”

        “Liara, okay.just.stop.” The moan and evil smirk from Liara only upset Bruce.

        “Ohhh No. You are trying to hurt me, but are only getting hurt in return. I like this. Just like the good ole days. Member, you member. You could never get under my skin like that.”

        Her demeanor was still chipper, which was sending him over the edge. She was just sitting there, propped on the table watching his each and every squirm. Bruce was furious. In his heated anger, the words came out of nowhere. He could not even believe they came from him as they seemed so foreign even to himself when spoken aloud. “Because of your wiring.”

        Unable to see that he had just hurt Liara in like and she was on the verge of a breakdown. There was a nod, but her voice was distant and dry. She was beating herself up with trying to beat Bruce down. The words just uttered, rocked her to her very core. She never thought Bruce able to say something as harsh as this. Anyone but him, and she could are less. Everyone but him and she'd laugh it off. But not him, the only man that she'd still give her dysfunctional life for. How could he be this cruel. “You are absolutely right. Which is why I continuously make the wrong decisions. Everyone hates me. Even you will, watch. You are almost there now. Tread lightly, for Liara is like ice. Fragile. Can't bend to pressure. One false move, leads to a crack. And boom, she’s gone off the deep end. Far too damaged to completely be trusted. Far too much of a feral animal. Because of my wiring. The drama is all I know and am good at.”

        “Well if you didn’t...” Bruce began, something in him refusing to back down.

        “What, act the only way I know? Come on get real. I’ve survived this long, why would I ever change now? Because of my wiring, I really can't stand your ass... Cause this guy with an anger issue tells me to?” Liara raised her lip, taking in his reflection. “I’d rather kill myself.”

        “Try something new.” He gave her reflection the once over.

        There was a lower of her head, she slowly tightened closed eyes as she forced her palms up in front of her. “Know what, fuck you Jekyll and fuck Hyde too. And you can also get the fuck out my house while you're at it.”

        “Which is another lie.” He was reveling in his new found ability to bother Liara.

        “Actually Mr. Smartass, it isn’t." Liara lifted from her seat. Which each sentence she only closed in on the man whom this whole time hadn't the nerve to face her directly as he argued his case. "Real house, no lies. Much like my other home. You know the one, in the mountain, where you couldn’t take your pretty brown eyes off of a certain part of my body. But I’m so in love with you. My ass. Seems to me you are the one that can’t keep their eyes to themselves. I have other things that keep my hands full at the moment. Yep, exactly the way it sounds. You know, just one of the ones that you are all jealous over, which is cute. You should use the jealous card with little red. She’d love it. Oh but there is that one big problem laying in that, now isn’t there. She can’t control the beast like I can. Oppp, my bad sweetheart.”

        “Lullaby,” he swallowed an over watering mouth.

         Her fingers wrapping around his upper arms, and the whisper in his ear was going to make him lose his mind. “It wasn’t Hyde I was talking about baby.”

        His nerves were failing him. “Only on technicality.”

        The sultry chuckle vibrated through her throat leading to a more than seductive giggle. “That ravaged my body.” She laughed again as she tilted her head into his. “Technicality.

        “I recall clearly that neither party had quarrels.” Fighting himself for the strength to speak correctly.

        “Lies." She released the man. Much to his relief. "One did.”

        Liara made her way back to her drink. This time, she took a swallow.

        Banner turned to watch the woman, glad the tension was gone from the air. “What are you about to do?”

        “Hmm.” She downed another mouthful. “With my wiring, finish this. Have some?"

        Banner shook his refusal.

        "No? Whatever. Oh then show you that on top of being a suicidal nut job that you are clearly able to bother now. Which I really hate you for right about now. Got to be losing my touch. Oh and tell you that you have no reason to be jealous, you know liar's honor and all.”

        Bruce let out a heavy breath. "I was mad Liara."

        She shook her head, "when aren't you?"

        "Then what." He was moving the conversation along, even though he had a feeling Liara was not going to let him live this moment down for quite some time to come.

        “Then shave the man off of you.” Liara tipped the bottle to his beard.

        On reflex, Bruce grabbed at his face. “You know I can do that myself.”

        “You could, but you need that hair cut as well. That is something you can’t.” She raised playful brows once.

        A nod was given in response. “Even Tony said I was letting myself go.”

        “Well if the boyfriend says it, it must be true. I for one like it, but you being Mr. Smarter Than Everyone Else, you need to actually look the part. Angry Wolfman ain’t working for you in the real world.” Liara tipped the bottle for the last sip to fill her mouth.

        “Where?” His innocent eyes, drinking in the woman that he still held a flame for, even though she drove him just as crazy as he now knew beyond a doubt he drove her.

        “Not going to touch that one. Hmm, since Rosa is sleeping upstairs, this is a good enough place as any.” A shrug as Bruce nodded. “Oh, there’s beer in the fridge. Don’t give me that it’s too early in the morning crap. You ain’t been asleep yet, so yeah. I’ll be back in a second.”

        Liara left the kitchen to run up the back stairs that resided in a corner of the room. When she fully left the room, Banner made his way to the fridge and retrieved a cold one. He popped the top off and took a hard swallow. He admitted to himself, this was exactly what he needed to calm his nerves. Every time Liara gave him a shave, it lead to other things. Things he all too well knew he wanted, but with Liara lacking knowledge to the other night, he was not going to push nor force. Scientific study proved when someone has forgotten, best practice to let the patient remember own their own. He sighed. This whole situation was a complete mess, and Bruce wished everything was different.

        The doctor took a seat on the bar stool he was in not too much earlier. “At least she’s comfortable enough around me, even after I accuse her of...”

        “Unfounded conclusions. Then again, you never completely got me. Even though you did enjoy me.” There was a delighted tone that comforted Bruce.

        Liara walked to the table with a matte black train case. She began her process of extracting its contents. “Liara, I am… I didn’t mean the things that I stated early.”

        There was a quick hesitation on Liara's part when Banner began. She continued when he caught his error. “You did, you always do, but it’s cute that you feel the need to apologize. There is tension between us, there always will be. We were a thing, had a harsh ending, which had me all up in my feelings. You are tiptoeing around me, for the lack of a better word, weirdness. I am good. I can be your friend, I guess that is what I am to you right now or at least what I'm trying to be? I moved on. I am glad that you were a special part of my life. You taught me things.”

        As Liara draped the man with a black cloth, he continued the conversation. “Wait I taught you things.”

        A constant mist of spay was applied to long thick curls. “Of course. That it’s a crime that you can’t be with a woman, cause believe me...”

        “Liara.” His tone was defeated, and bothered as always.

        Yellow eyes rolled as she began combing his hair. “What? I’m for real. Cause believe me, I had no idea that all you needed were pheromones to be able to do what it do. I found that out quick too. Oh, also that Hyde is a lover while you, you are the sav...”

        “I really don’t want to have this conversation. How about we change the subject.” He began while his head was guided down as Liara began to cut the wet locks.

        There was a hum, “okay. Since you are so damn keen to being curious about my four stinking years away from the lot of you freaks, let’s see. I spent them basically all in Mexico, aside from a couple months. Rebuilding the small town, you know making up for what I did. Everyone there was a direct family member of someone I personally killed while I was with HYDRA. Hmm, I spent three years with this wonderful man that was stupid enough to fall for me. One that I could never give a child to. You know, cause we both wanted a family. Cause apparently I have this great love to give.”

        There was another push, this time guiding his head to the left. “Of course with you being the only one deemed fit to say that you don’t.”

        “Duh. No. But really, okay I do love children. But as there being such a thing as true love. You already know the answer to that.” A few sprays to the hair at his temple as she went back to snipping.

        An amused grunt in recalling her exact word usage, “a Disney fairy tale, what are your exact words, a lie told to little children to paint the world a pretty picture, sparing them from the harsh reality that the world is nothing but cruel and evil.”

        Liara smiled as he told her words back to her. “That is sexy, you remembering what a woman tells you. Do that with red, and you could so be in. You know, well, nevermind.”

        “Liara, Nat and I are only friends.” Liara now was finishing sizing the symmetry in the cut she gave Bruce.

        She was satisfied enough, cleaned the comb free of hair on his smock, then handed it to him. “Here, style it as you normally would.”

        Liara leaned over Bruce’s right shoulder to hold the mirror for him to be able to check himself out while he ran the teeth through his hair.

        There was a nod of approval as Liara now held up a mirror, while he himself held up the other, so he could see the back of his head. “I like it.”

        “Here, let me get this off you. You better finish up your drink, cause all the man is coming off, and we don’t have all night.” Liara unbuttoned the cloth, bundled it to keep the hair from escaping.

        Bruce took in the old straight razorblade Liara now unsheathed. “Hold on, I told you I could do it.”

        “I ain’t gone cut you.” She was now playing with the blade.

        He grabbed his company’s right wrist. “You are not going to touch me with that.”

        “Ugh, you are such a baby. Don’t make me sit on your lap. Cause we both know I’m not trying to rub up on anything, even less trying to take care of it.” There was a ‘try me’ pout to her lips. “What I thought.”

        Bruce was pulled back by two hands on either collarbone. Liara forced his head upward to apply the warm shaving cream to his face. As soon as she took the blade to his face, he panicked more. “This isn’t a good idea.”

        “Oh.my.god. If anything I have the best hand of all the women you ever were with. So calm the fuck down. It ain’t like this is the first time.” Liara rolled her eyes, then pushed the back of his head with her finger.

        “Yes, but with a normal blade.” He looked up to her.

        “Okay, tarue, but you’ll be fine. Man up. It won’t be but a couple minutes. I promise. You owe me anyhow for the beer you drank.” A purse of the lips to the right.

        A defensive furrow of the brow. “It wasn’t yours.”

        “Also true, but guess what genius. It wasn’t yours either. Now. Say something. Exactly.” Liara once again, lifted his chin. This time gliding the blade swiftly up his cheek.

        The blade slid up Bruce’s face like a warm knife slicing butter. It was extremely sharp and Liara was doing a flawless job. She started on the other cheek. As she cleaned the blade, there was a content hum from behind him. She made her way to face him directly. She laughed. “Handlebars are so nooot your thing.”

        “That bad huh.” With his question the right cheek of the woman in front of him pulled taut, making a deep dimple.

        “You ready?” There was a nod as she smirked in return.

        Liara already made her plans to do Bruce’s upper lip and chin from the front of him. She was better at shaving when she could see it normally. There was a nervous enlarge of brown eyes as his legs began to be forced apart. Liara slowly lowered to her knees, filling in the space between them. She stared at his lips, and leaned even closer into Banner’s person, so much so he could smell the vanilla lotion strongly coming off her person. She bit her bottom lip in heavy in concentration. She moved to his chin, her lips barely separated as the tip of her tongue took to the right crease of her lips. When she was finished, she looked around. She forgot to bring the warm cleaning cloth with her.

        “I need to get this right quick, sorry.” She leaned into Bruce, reaching over his right shoulder to the table, retrieving it. “Here, I just need to...”

        On her way back to her spot, their eyes locked. She slowed and stopped barely inches from his face. She wanted it, he was beginning to close the space, or was it her? Did it even matter at this point in time? Her lips parted when his did. He was so close and smelled divine. She saw the glow of her eyes in his. His hand was on the small of her back, guiding her closer into his person. She refused to resist. It was Bruce, and there was always something about this man. On reflex her head tilted to the right, his lips were so plump and seemed so soft. As soon as their lips were about to touch, there was a noise of a door unlocking.

        Liara pulled back violently, while holing her bottom lip. “I’m so sorry.”

        Bruce cursed the timing. He could only watch as Liara lifted rapidly from him, and go to cleaning the supplies.

        The person which ruined the moment made their way to the kitchen, taking in the sight.

        “Look Lorena, I made him the way you like. See, emasculated. I know you like it.” Liara motioned to the man lifting from the chair. “So the two of you should make friends. Take him out for a drink or talk science things. That always gets a rise out of him. He owes you a cold one anyhow.”

        Liara took her things and quickly exited from the kitchen, head down stuck in her feelings. Knowing all too well the overpowering reaction to her pheromones was what provoked Bruce. That unseen, seemingly odorless chemical that she released. Heavily, matter of fact. She heard and felt him smell her, but she once again allowed it to happen. Why did the animalism within him equally react to hers. She scrunched her face, gave one last look over her shoulder and made her way out to the swing on the porch.

        She had to be out there more than at least an hour alone, left with nothing but her doubts. To drown in her thoughts, and get lost in her feelings. The sun was just a few minutes to break the horizon. His aroma found her well before he did. “Here, I refuse to let you get sick on my watch.”

        There was a curt chuckle, “I don’t do that.”

        She wasn’t looking at him, she had her legs within her embrace, her cheek resting on them while looking out upon the horizon. “Makes two of us.”

        “Jekyll, I am...” she tried to begin.

        As he sat down next to her, he placed the jacket around her shoulders. Provoking yellow eyes to fully take him in. He took his hand and caressed her left cheek, beginning with her mole. “I know what you thought happened.” He leaned to whisper in her ear. “Farthest from it.”

        “I’m not blind, nor deaf. Every time you react that way. Glint of green in your eyes,” her brow turned. “It’s on the...”

        “Pheromones.” There was a slight huff from him.

        Liara lifted to face him while lowering her legs, “you didn’t feel it?”

        “I felt something.” His eyes glistened.

        “I’m serious,” Liara reached to tease his hair.

        In doing so, Bruce grabbed her and pulled her close to him. “And I’m not?”

        She was dangerously close, and could care less this time if it even was the reaction to her pheromones driving the man to react the way he was. “Lorena claims that you are the one that gave me that nice infection.”

        His voice was light and curious. “And what exactly do you believe.”

        “Now I know it was.” She closed her eyes tight as she lowered her head. She began slowly shaking it.

        He lifted her head with a careful hand. “How.”

        “You own me again. I can’t think of anything but...” before Liara could even finish her statement, her lips were overtaken with his. There within that action, she did indeed know he was the one that dominated her once more. Bruce showed her in his tender kiss he was once again her Alpha.

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