*Unedited, subject to change*

Karen and Silas rode the elevator back up to Silas’s apartment in silence. He unlocked the door and let her enter first. She turned as he shut the door.
“Karen, I’m not letting you do this.”
One of her eyebrows raised in defiance. “You’re...not letting me? You’re not letting me.”
“It’s my job to look after you.”
“A job I didn’t ask you to do!”
“You know why I’m doing this.”
“I’m not sure that I do,” Karen said, crossing her arms over her chest. “Because you told me that we couldn’t get involved with each other because it was too dangerous because of your past. Well I was in danger last night and it had nothing to do with you. So why are you still doing this? Why not just...pass me off to someone else.”
“That’s not happening.”
Why?” Karen screamed.
They stood there staring at each other and when Silas didn’t speak, Karen turned and went to her room. She could hear Silas behind her as she dug through her purse.
“What are you doing?” she heard him ask.
“What’s your rate?”
She turned to face him, with her checkbook in her hand.
“What’s. Your. Rate? Because I can’t possibly let you do ‘your job’ and not let you get paid.” She scribbled an amount onto the check, ripped it out and shoved it into his chest. “That should cover it.”
“I’m not taking your money, Karen,” Silas said, ripping up the check.
“Then tell me why you feel so fucking obligated to protect me, when you’ve made it abundantly clear that you don’t want me.”
“You know that’s not true.”
“I don’t know shit!” She stood there staring at him, her chest heaving. “That night we spent together. You said you were tired of resisting this...resisting me. But before the sun was even up the next morning you pushed me away again.”
“I told you why.”
“Yet as soon as there was hint of danger, you were right there. You could have let Boomer assign someone else to do the job. But you didn’t. Tell me why,” she demanded.

“Because I need to make sure you’re safe! And I’m not about to leave that in any else’s hands but my own,” he growled, closing the distance between them. He cupped the back of her head. “Because despite everything I said that morning after we made love...despite how hard I’ve tried to fight it since that night we were together,  I haven’t been able to sever the connection we created.  Because no matter how much I’ve tried to deny it, you belong to me.”
And then he crushed his mouth over hers.