Lily drifted slowly awake. She felt very heavy, but well rested and satisfied. That luxurious languorous feeling like after a good workout followed by a rubdown and sauna. Limp. She lay facing the windows, sunlight keeping her eyes closed. Rolling over to escape the interruption she rolled right over onto Rock's chest. Her sleepy mind didn't give it much notice beyond thinking, mmmmmmm...., and she nuzzled into his warmth. Her hand crept up to feel the soft hair and form beneath, a small confused thought creasing her brow slightly. As this demanded more attention than she was currently giving it, her mind started stoking her consciousness until she was awake and opened her eyes to look at the man next to her. He still slept, amazingly, since he was the nervous type who rarely slept well. She let her gaze wander over his features, nothing remarkable. She took inventory of his features. Blondish brown hair, straight, short, and receding slightly. With his eyes closed, they were rather normal appearing. A big nose. Thin, yet finely shaped lips with a perfect Cupid's bow. Not the type one thinks of when hearing "assassin". This man laying here was a member of the most brutally effective groups known to the industry as the "System". Furthermore, Rock was an inner ‘Circle' member of the ‘System', making him twice as deadly. No other group in the world was as well connected, had more firepower or more influence. Since the Capitol had moved underground, becoming a virtual impenetrable fortress, an underground community for military and government employees about the size of a small city, it had been rumored to have been impenetrable. It had been penetrated at least once by the Systems, and actually more than once. Something the Capitol liked to deny, but Lily knew it was true. She had been there. That's why they were trying to kill her. Just being with Rock was an exercise in suicide. He was loved by many, despite himself, and many had interest in him and his future. These people would not hesitate to kill Lily to assure his continuance in their plans. Some were loyal teammates, some more romantically entangled. Lily looked at him sleeping again. What was it about him that made her so crazy? The shape of his face? The bend of his mind? The way he looked at her? They way he smelled, walked or talked? Lily rolled her eyes and sighed. Does love need reason? She was sure it didn't . Love knew neither rhyme nor reason, had no season, and no mercy. She should have sent him packing, and now she was getting all tangled up again. Dammit, she thought, but she held Rock tightly now around the waist. He stirred at this pressure and opened his eyes, smiled into hers,

"Good morning darlin'."

Lily burst out laughing, then smiled back sweetly. She popped up and kissed him.

"Good morning."

"What tickles you?" He asked, still smiling.

"Oh, I was just thinking things when you woke up and answered some of my questions." she replied lightly.

"I see, ...things. Hmm, like what? " He got an evil little grin on his face, and she swatted him playfully.

"Never you mind. Anyway. I need to get back to my real life now." She said somewhat soberly. Rock leaned back onto the pillow and put his hands behind his head and smiled a cat who ate the canary smile. Lily looked at him askance.

"What?" She asked cautiously.

"Well, unless you have forgotten, I have a plane, and know how to fly it. I can take you to Brazil." He offered. Lily took her eyes off his biceps in their flexed position and let his words sink in. That's right! He does have a plane! Excitement coursed through her as she began to realize some possibilities. Then her excitement channeled into suspicion.

"Why on earth, would you want to help me free my fiance?" She couldn't see the logic in this thought, if he wanted her. A twinge of disappointment hit her, followed quickly by shame at the idea she could leave Daniel to rot in Brazil. Rock stopped smiling for a moment and held his hands out for her to take. She slid her hands into his and they sat up close together on the bed. He was looking down at their hands as he said,

"You know I have other...obligations... I know, and you know. I would love nothing more than to say to you that you and I could run away together forever, but it's just not possible, and I don't want to lie to you. I will help you save Daniel, because he needs you, and you love him, and I love you. Is that hard to understand?" He had raised his eyes to her, to look into her, willing her to hear him, to feel him. She did. She heard what he said, she felt his love, and want, and her heart was both light, and leaden. She knew he spoke the truth. The truth she didn't want to hear. Lily Hightower, so rich, so influential, couldn't have the one thing she wanted most of all. Rock. It was almost more than she could take, but she pushed those feelings down. She could almost feel a piece of her heart go hard. Reality bites. With needle sharp teeth. Feeling suddenly self conscious about her nudity, she gathered up her robe and put it on.

"I think I need to go get ready for the day. I will see you downstairs?" She asked softly, like a chastised child. Rock looked at her with pity and regret. He hadn't wanted this to feel this way. He certainly didn't want her to feel this way. He faked chipper, and said more brightly than he felt,

"Sure thing. Fifteen minutes?" He didn't really want the morning to end, and so awkwardly. Lily also shuffled around, looking for a reason to stay, or go, she wasn't sure which, when K took the choice from her by flinging open the door, startling Rock and Lily. K took in Rock naked on the bed, and Lily standing in her robe, and started backing out the door wide eyed.

"Lily, I really, really need to talk to you, and I'm sorry. Excuse me." K shut the door with some force and this was the break they both needed to excuse the strangeness that had fallen. Lily gazed at Rock for a second more, taking a picture for her mind, then turned and opened the door.

"See ya soon." She said as she slipped out. Rock sighed and then allowed himself to think of the night before for a moment before getting up and getting on with the day.


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