Tony wondered about it.

He did that a lot, actually. Being a hormonally-charged alpha male did tend to put his focus on that which appealed, and the female form was high on the list. There was a lot to like about women: breasts, hips, asses, legs. Tony appreciated the packaging in general and certain areas specifically.

Most of the more visible aspects of women were fun to consider and ogle. If it was on show, Tony felt, it was there to be noticed and admired. He felt free to stare, for example, at his personal assistant’s legs. Pepper had amazingly lovely ones, and nobody would deny that she showcased them nicely on a daily basis. Heels, sheer hosiery, short skirts—all of it window-dressing for the hottest gams in Stark Industries.

Gams, Tony thought. An old slang term, but one that fit for Pepper.

Still, her legs were only the beginning, and given the direction they naturally led the eye, Tony felt that his interest was invariably drawn higher along her form.

There was her ass to consider. Certainly there were nicer terms, and Tony admitted that calling her backside a tushie, or behind or derriere would be more politically correct, but not quite as Anglo-Saxon and blatant as ass. Ass was slightly derogatory, yes, but it also held hints of porn in its single syllabic sweetness. Pepper Potts had a pert little ass, prone to tensing when she was angry, and swaying sweetly when she was tired or a little bit drunk.

Her ass had its own mesmerizing charm, Tony well knew. He could watch her ass for days, and had thought about it often in Afghanistan, holding out his hands in the darkness, wondering if it would fit into his palms. He was an engineer; Tony estimated that it would, perfectly.

Alas, there had been no opportunity yet to test his approximation, and that in itself was highly frustrating.

Still, the legs and ass of Pepper Potts were visually enjoyed by more Stark Industries employees than she realized, and that irked Tony more than he wanted to admit. Even long-time associates like Rhodes and Happy had been caught once or twice checking out Pepper’s charms, and while Tony grudgingly forgave, he didn’t forget.

Those were the public ones, and much as Tony enjoyed considering them, he let his own thoughts go deeper. About three layers deeper, from skirt to panties to hosiery as he contemplated . . .

Um . . .


Really, there were no politically correct terms for what he was wondering about, and Tony sighed because none of the ones he did know (and there were many in his vocabulary) applied to Pepper’s . . . . It.

Not the vulgar names that he’d learned early in puberty and applied with the crude confidence of a man used to seeing such things at the snap of his fingers. The name ‘Tony Stark’ did at times have the power to make women’s clothing disappear—he’d never denied that, and often tested the theory.

Fun, mostly.

But while he might call the body part in question by crude and slightly misogynist terms around those former acquaintances for the night, they’d never do for Pepper.

Pepper deserved something respectful. And properly intimate and personal. Something a lover would use, not a pop-in visitor, so to speak.

Tony sighed.

He tried to think of something to call . . . It . . . that wasn’t crude or stupid.

Or medical.

Correct names never sounded sexy—they always came across as if you were worried about disease or something, or as if you got off on playing Doctor.

Which could be fun, Tony acknowledged, but it didn’t really pertain to his dilemma at the moment. He sighed and thought again.

Part of the problem was he didn’t know what . . . . it . . . looked like.

Well, he had a general idea. Having seen more than his fair share of them, Tony considered himself somewhat of a connoisseur of female anatomy, but all of that was in the past, and truth to tell, he’d been thinking of Pepper exclusively, and her body specifically, and her . . .


The right term would come to him upon seeing it, Tony decided, and he pondered the potentially glorious moment for the thousandth time.




Miss Potts was always fastidious; Tony couldn’t remember more than three times in their years together when she wasn’t neatly tidy and well-groomed. Those had been flukes; the result of some bad weather or catastrophe beyond her control, and even then, she’d whipped out a comb ASAP to pull herself together.

Ergo, it was likely that such personal care would extend below the belt.

In this case, the garter belt.

He bet himself that she was definitely the sort to trim, although Tony hoped she didn’t wax herself completely because while that might be convenient for her, it lacked . . . appeal for him.

Well, Tony was sure he’d get over the issue if that was the case, but deep down he’d always preferred the soft and downy tease of hair in a seductive display. Bald might be beautiful to some, but he’d never quite gotten over feeling slightly dismayed at nudity taken to extremes.

He let himself be optimistic, and considered it fondly. Tony had been close enough to Pepper to tell that her particular coloring—that lovely apricot tint of red-blonde that graced her locks—was real. No dye in the world could consistently approximate that shade. Given that most women were at least a shade or two darker on other places on their bodies, it stood to reason that the area of his fond consideration would be as well.

And that, Tony knew, would be a sight worth seeing. Amber touched with gold, a darling little tangle of delicate curls just waiting to be adored.

It was a curse to be blessed with a vivid imagination, Tony realized. Definitely a curse when visions of . . . it . . . were so tantalizing, and honestly, given the choice between listening to what Noveki was reporting versus considering Pepper’s charms was really no contest.

Tony crossed his legs and wondered what it would taste like.

His infatuation with women had always extended quite happily to orality. Tony had no qualms about oral sex. None. Just as women came in different colors and shapes and sizes, the variety of flavor to them had always been an impetus to browse—at least, in the past.

Now he was a bit more particular, and willing to narrow down the choice to one, if only she’d cooperate. Given that Pepper’s skin felt lovely and smelled wonderful, Tony had no doubt that Potts would win the taste test with deliciously flying colors. He was more than willing to start with her mouth and take the southerly route anytime she gave the word.

He was still waiting on that.



Life wasn’t fair at times, and Tony accepted the fact, but for the moment, if daydreaming was all he was going to get, he’d have to make do.

He considered it yet again, and held back a low whimper. It would be a dark, delicate gold, it would smell as sweet as a sun-warmed nectarine, and he’d be so utterly whipped by it that it would take at least a week to drag his blissful face from between Pepper’s lean little hips.

Tony realized he was both infatuated and disgusting.

But he wasn’t about to change his nature; just his range. His oat-sowing days were pretty much over, and it was time to cultivate a single, exotic garden, to put it in a pretty metaphor. Tony was willing to admit that the time and effort he used to expend in sampling women was now put to better use in building the Suit, and anyway, it wasn’t quantity, but quality that mattered.

On both counts.

And Pepper was quality, through and through. Soft as jasmine-scented butter, sweet as spun sugar, doe-eyed and utterly feminine. Sometimes Tony wanted to just . . . chase her. She brought out a predator instinct in him, especially when she was nervous, and he had to fight down the response.

God it would be a thrill. To dash after her, see those long, hot legs in action, to catch her and kiss her; to have her squeak in that adorable breathless fashion, her pulse under his lips . . .

All of that leading to . . . it, of course. The beautiful prize, the glorious girl pelt, the bunniest of fur, the hidden, humid, heavenly hideaway of Virginia Isabel Potts . . .

* * *


“Sorry—I was, um, thinking deep thoughts there.”

“Yes?” Pepper shoots him a slightly suspicious look, and he feels a tiny hint of flush along his cheeks. Tony’s fairly certain she can’t read minds, but she does know him better than anyone else in the world. “Meaning of life, Mr. Stark?”

“Absolutely, Miss Potts.”

“Right,” she murmurs in that sweet, disbelieving way of hers, complete with dimple. Noveki is gone and now it’s just the two of them here in the office.

“The sweet mysteries of life,” he can’t help but add, amused at his own inside joke. “The grand and glorious . . . it.”

Pepper shoots him a wry look, and deliberately crosses her legs.

“Sometimes, it’s worth pursuing, wouldn’t you say, Miss Potts?” Tony asks her, striving for innocence.

“Mr. Stark,” Pepper replies with sweet slowness, “I’m choosing not to ask.”

“Probably better,” he agrees gently. “I hear it can be dangerous.”

Pepper rises, her moves as graceful and sensual as ever. She makes her way to the door of his office, turns and gives him a gentle smile. “Well you know, they say if you dream it, Tony, you can . . . achieve it.”

He watches her close the door and groans, pushing the remote locking device because after that sultry little coda he’s going to need some privacy.

And tissues.

Damn it.



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