I stare at my name, my right hand shaking as I place it against the wall, my index finger tracing over the cursive.
'Emilia Pierce. 1989.'
1989 was the year I was born, my 25th birthday was only a month ago… but how did my name end up on the wall of an ex hydra lab? And more importantly why? I move my left hand to cover my mouth as I look at it in shock. I felt sick…
I whisper unable to move my eyes from the name on the wall.
“… You might want to come and see this.”
He’s silent as he makes his way across the room, the only reason I know he’s near is because his right arm brushes my left as he stands next to me. I don’t look at him, I don’t want to. My eyes can’t leave my name.
“Why is my name on this wall?”
I ask feeling a bit hysteric. He doesn’t respond verbally, he instead moves his body to stand in front of the wall that holds my name. I think he knows that’s the only way I can regain focus.
“I told you, you’re the key to finding out Hyrda’s newest secrets.”
I shake my head ‘no’.
“How? How am I the key?”
I ask as he looks away.
“You’re father was at the top of the ladder because of his ranking in S.H.E.I.L.D, he was the ringleader, that makes you the most important piece of the game. I’m assuming the rest of the Hydra outlets were waiting on his word, word that he never had the chance to give. All the files are related to him, that’s where you come into play.”
I feel horrified when he tells me this… horrified that my ties to my father were more important than I thought. When James had contacted me I was told that I was needed because I would know my father’s passwords, but my name was written on a wall of a Hydra facility… This was way bigger than I’d thought.
“Oh my god…”
I whisper breathlessly.
“… This is all one big mess.”
I want it all to end. I want to close my eyes and be normal again. I want my mom back, and my life back. Two months ago my biggest concern was what my hair was going to look like, and now I was apart of helping a man who’d been to hell and back.
“You’re very important Emilia.”
He whispers studying me. I close my eyes for the first time since I started helping him I wished I could be alone. I wanted to cry and mentally curse my father for doing this, for helping with this evil. It was all too much… my mother dying, my ex boyfriend being a member of Hydra, and now I was some sort of ‘key’ to it all. I want to scream, but I can’t. I can’t show any more weakness in front of him, but I know he sees through me. He pulls me in, but the second he touches me any feeling I was trying to hold in seems to boil over. I sob despite my not wanting to. His arms wrapped around me tightly as I cried. My head burying into his chest, after only a week of helping him I’d finally managed to really break down. Sure I’d had moments of weakness and slight tears, but full blown sobbing, well this was something new.
“I’m sorry James.”
I whimper as I look up at him. I felt selfish for crying, I am here to help him, not for me to make this all about me. He looks down at me, his hair hanging in his face as his eyes watch me silently.
“Don’t say you’re sorry…”
He pauses, thinking of what to say next.
“… Hydra’s fucked up your life too.”
I rest my hands against his chest as he continues to hold me. One week of being around him and I’d felt like I knew him my whole life. He understood me better than anyone ever has.
“Is this what I’m destined to be? Alexander Pierce’s daughter and nothing more? A link to the horrors of this place?”
My father made my life hell when he was alive, but now that he’s dead he’s still managed to drive me crazy. It was like he was haunting me. My lips tremble and the urge to cry is once again apparent, but James stops me when his hands end up cupping my face. The metal of his left hand causing chills to move up my spine as he touches me.
“You are more than that…”
He whispers, our gazes locking.
“… Over the last week you’ve made me feel human again. That means something to me.”
I feel the wind get knocked out of me when he tells me this… had I helped him? I breathe a deep sigh.
“But you said it yourself, you only need me alive for revenge. All I am to you is Alexander Pierces’ daughter, a trigger waiting to be pulled before you get your vengeance.”
His eyes narrow at my words, his gaze darkening. He draws me in closer to him, my body fully up against his.
“You’re right. I need you for vengeance…”
He pauses moving in closer, his face inches from mine.
“… And the best form of vengeance would be getting my life back. Being everything your dear old dad didn’t want me to be. He wanted me to take orders, and do whatever he said, well I’m not going to. I’m going to do what I want to do, and live.”
I feel frozen in fear when he says this. What was he going to do? My eyes move from his staring at his chest.
“How do you intend to do that?”
He sighs before guiding me to look up at him once more.
“By doing the very thing I’ve wanted to do since the night you laid next to me, and soothed my nightmare…”
He pauses leaning in, his lips brush against mine, my eyes fluttering shut at the contact. He kisses my lips tenderly and I kiss him back. I’ve never been kissed like this… he is soft and gentle, everything I wouldn’t expect from a man who’s lived through the things he has. He breaks the kiss and studies me.
“… You’re more than a piece in a game Emilia. I know you’re scared, but you can do this. You are brave, and you’ve been very brave to help me despite everything that has happened. I can’t thank you enough, but this journey is one that will be full of twists and turns. You told me to trust you in the car and I will, but you need to trust me too. Understand?”