The wedding the next day went off without a hitch. Ginny and Steve didn’t drop the offertory gifts as they followed the altar boy up to the front of the church; the vows were very personal and touching; the music was uplifting; and the bible readings appropriate and inspiring.
The bridesmaids wore different styles of dresses in the same shade of green and the pocket handkerchiefs on the groomsmen’s suits were the same colour.
Ginny held Steve’s hand through most of the mass and even teared up a little bit during the vows. Steve handed her his handkerchief, a sweet gesture that didn’t go unnoticed by those around them.
Afterwards, Sylvie’s mom asked Steve and Ginny to join them at the Old Mill for pictures. Sylvie wanted a few with her best friend. The hotel was a picturesque building with lovely grounds, even this late in the year, and beautiful indoor settings as well.
The photographer took lots of candid shots of the group and a few posed shots. Ginny and Steve helped where they could and Sylvie wanted some shots of her and Ginny as well as well as the four of them together.
Once the pictures were done, Ginny and Steve were free! Sylvie went to spend some time with her family and dinner wasn’t for another couple of hours. A few of Ginny and Sylvie’s high school friends were in the bar, so they decided to join the group.
Steve just sat back and listened to the stories that were flying around. Marlie came and sat beside Ginny and said, “You know, Mike’s coming tonight.”
“I figured.” Ginny said. “He is Sylvie’s cousin.”
“Yeah, but he’s still carrying a torch for you and he’s hoping to win you back at the wedding.” Marlie said.
Ginny sighed. “There’s no ‘back’. We never dated. I was never interested.”
“Well, you were the only one who wasn’t, so I think it’s become a conquest thing.” Paul said from across the table.
“Thanks for the warning, guys. I think I’ll just trying to avoid him, especially if he starts drinking.” Ginny said, looking up at Steve.
“Do you think he’d try something here?” Steve asked.
“Let’s hope not,” Ginny answered, “but he is a bit of a hothead and doesn’t hold his drink very well.”
“You should watch yourself, Steve. He’s a pretty big guy and he’s still in pretty good shape.” Paul warned.
“I’ll be fine.” Steve said with a smile. “Ginny will protect me.” They all laughed at this.
At 6 pm, the reception hall opened and they all made their way through the formal receiving line before finding their assigned seats. Sylvie had sat the high school gang together, but had seated Mike with his family so at least they wouldn’t have to deal with him at dinner.
Steve went to get them each a drink and Mike chose that moment to come and sit down next to Ginny. Everyone else fell silent.
“Hey, baby.” Mike said. “Long time, no see.” He had his hand familiarly on her back, and leaned in as though to kiss her. She managed to turn away and lean back, avoiding him.
He took her hands and said, “Come on, let’s go for a walk.”
She didn’t rise with him and said “No, I don’t think so. I’m visiting with old friends and my fiancé will be back in a minute with our drinks.”
Mike didn’t sit back down. “Fiancé? No way.” He turned around to see if he could spot this fiancé. Steve was just heading back to the table with their drinks.
“That stiff?” Mike looked down at her.
Ginny nodded and raised an eyebrow at Steve letting him know this guy was trouble.
Steve came up, set the drinks down and shook Mike’s hand when Ginny introduced them. Ginny could see Mike’s grimace as Steve showed his strength in his handshake.
“Ginny tells me you guys went to school together.” Steve said, sitting down.
Ginny felt like she was sitting between two wolves sizing each other up. Mike played up his accomplishments: high school and college football, MMA, military time and a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Steve made sure Mike knew who he was and talked about leading the Howling Commandoes in Europe and leading the Avengers now. They even traded some of their training regimens. By the time dinner was served, Steve and Mike seemed to have an understanding.
As Mike left to find his table, Steve leaned close to Ginny’s ear and said, “He won’t bother you again.”
She turned to him and said, “Why? Are you the alpha-wolf?”
“Something like that.” Steve answered with a smile.
Not all of Ginny’s friends had realized that Steve was Captain America until this conversation with Mike. Now there were lots of questions to be answered. Steve seemed to take it all in stride, recounting battles for them and talking about the other Avengers.
Luckily, dinner was not chicken. Ginny hadn’t thought to ask and was pleased to see beef tenderloin on the plate in front of her.
Dinner was delicious and afterwards, the speeches were in French and English and were quick. Music had been playing through dinner, but now the DJ announced the bride and groom’s first dance. The song was a hauntingly beautiful French song and Sylvie and Doug were alone on the dance floor until they split up to find Sylvie’s dad and Doug’s mom. Before the end of the song, Sylvie and Doug found each other again and their parents danced with each other.
Ginny had tears in her eyes watching the parents on the dance floor. She had danced with her dad at the hand-fasting, but they could never have this.
Steve put his arm around her and squeezed her shoulder. She looked up at him and smiled sadly then lay her head on his shoulder.
Then the dancing opened up and Ginny and Steve were rarely sitting down. They danced with each other when they could, but were often separated by others claiming dances.
About half way through the evening, the DJ announce, “This one is for Steve and Geneviève.” They were both with different partners but managed to find each other in the middle of the dance floor. Everyone else pulled back, leaving them alone together.
“There you are.” Steve said with a smile.
“Long time, no see.” Ginny said as the beginning strains of ‘New York State of Mind’ came through the sound systems and they started to dance.
Sylvie had given the DJ the list of songs they liked to dance to. They moved so well together that the DJ just went down their list. After ‘New York State of Mind’, they weren’t alone on the dance floor, but they weren’t letting anyone else cut in. Ginny did look like a flame as she whirled and twirled through a jitter-bug and as Steve swung her around the outside of the dance floor in a waltz.
Those who knew Ginny knew how good a dancer she was. But they had never seen her with anyone who moved as fluidly as she did. They seemed to anticipate each other’s moves.
After a while, the crush of the dance floor got to be too much. Ginny was beyond fatigue and Steve led her off the dance floor and out into the quiet lobby, where there were several overstuffed leather couches. They found a spot in the corner of one of these and curled up together.
“You know, if you’re done, we can go upstairs.” Steve said, caressing her back.
“I’m okay, just a little over-socialized. Talking to so many people I don’t know or barely know.” She had her legs draped over one of his and her head on his shoulder. “I just need some time alone with you.”
“I’ll never turn that down.” he said with a smile.
Steve checked his watch. It was 11:30. No matter what Ginny said, he knew she was done.
Ginny had made the mistake of closing her eyes and found that she couldn’t open them again. Steve felt her body relax against him.
“Hey.” he said, rousing her. “How about one more slow turn around the dance floor and then off to bed?”
She sighed deeply and then turned to look at him. “I guess we should say goodnight to Sylvie and Doug.”
When they got back, there were only a few couples slowly circling the dance floor. The DJ started ‘Babe’ by Styx and Ginny and Steve joined them.
Near the end of the song, they danced by Sylvie and Doug and stopped to say goodnight. They would see them the next day at Doug’s parents place for brunch and gift opening.
Back in their room, Ginny barely took time to get undressed before crawling gratefully into bed. Teeth could be brushed tomorrow.
By the time Steve climbed into bed with her, she was already asleep, but she rolled towards him to cuddle into his warmth.
In the morning, they slept late and were in a bit of a rush to get to brunch. They were a little late, but it was pretty relaxed. They sat around eating and chatting while Sylvie and Doug opened gifts.
In was about 2 o’clock when Ginny made their excuses. She still wanted to take Steve to Kensington Market and Chinatown before they went to get dressed for dinner at the CN Tower.
They left their car at the hotel and took the subway and streetcar to Chinatown. They wandered down Spadina, checking out all of the import shops and grocers with rabbit carcasses hanging in their windows and unique vegetables for sale.
Then she took him one block west and they were in the middle of Kensington Market, where second-hand and vintage clothing stores were being run out of old, Victorian-era houses. There were artisan shops selling everything from homemade soaps and lotions, to jewelry to fair trade art and craft items from around the world. They went into the Blue Banana, an artisan shopping mall full of everything from vintage jewelry, to cheap imported junk. She took him down a couple of alleyways covered with graffiti where Rick Mercer, a Canadian political satirist, filmed parts of his show.
This was one of Ginny’s favourite places in Toronto, where hippy and hipster subcultures collided.
It was almost 5 o’clock when they headed back to their hotel to get dressed for dinner. Their reservation was for 7, which was cutting it a little tight.
They dressed a little more casually than they had for the wedding; Steve in a dress shirt and pants with his leather jacket and Ginny in leggings and a long flowing sweater with short, high-heeled boots.
They took the subway down to Union Station, then walked along the SkyWalk to the base of the CN Tower. The view over the lake from the elevator was breathtaking!
As they waited to be seated, Steve read the stats on the restaurant.
“It makes one full revolution every 72 minutes. Can you feel it moving?” he asked.
“You can’t feel it, but if you focus on one of the beams for too long, it’ll give you vertigo because you’ll be able to see it.” Ginny said. “Mostly you lose track of where the washrooms are because they’re fixed in the centre.”
Their table was near the outside, but not right next to the window, giving them a spectacular view of the city!
Ginny watched the view for a minute. “Kinda pales in comparison with the observation pod, doesn’t it?” she said.
Steve smiled. “I was still trying very hard to impress you back then.” Steve said.
“Well, you did.” Ginny said with a little laugh.
Steve reached across the table to take her hand. “And I’m pretty impressed with Toronto, too. The impression I’ve always gotten is that Toronto is trying and failing to be like New York. But it’s not like that at all.” he said.
“No, it’s very different from New York. We don’t take ourselves as seriously as New Yorkers take their city. It’s kinda like…’Yeah, Toronto sucks, but we love it anyway.’” she said.
Steve laughed. “I’m getting that. It’s almost apologetic.”
“Yes! Even when we’re the best, we’re very apologetic about it: ‘Sorry we built our tower taller than yours.’” Ginny laughed.
“There’s nothing to apologize for here. This view is breathtaking.” Steve said, watching as the view changed to the lake. “What’s across the lake?”
“The Niagara Wine Region.” she said. “They say on a clear day, you can see all the way to the falls. I know I’ve seen Toronto from Angel’s Gate winery over there.”
“I guess we’ll have to see if we’ll be able to get down to the falls before we leave.” Steve said, straining his eyes in the dark to try and see the iconic waterfalls.
“I checked the schedule for the motorcade tomorrow and they’re leaving Trenton in the morning so they should be in Toronto around noon. Maybe we can drive down after that, spend the night there and head home on Tuesday.” Ginny suggested. “What are you hearing from HQ?”
“They’re still on high alert, but nothing of substance yet.” he said. “That all sounds great.” Steve smiled at her as their waitress brought menus.
Ginny scanned her menu and said, “I was really glad to see that dinner last night wasn’t chicken.” Steve smiled.
“This is hard. How do I tell people I can’t eat chicken without telling them why?” she said.
“I never thought of that.” Steve said, looking up at her. “Once we have confirmation from Jas, should we tell your dad?”
Ginny sighed. “We probably should, but part of me wants to keep this between us for a bit longer. Maybe until Christmas?” Steve thought she looked very unsure.
“Christmas would be a good time to announce it.” Steve said with a smile. “Are we doing a New York Christmas or Montreal Christmas?” he asked.
“Let’s see if you’re even here!” she said as the waitress came to take their orders.
“I’ll be here.” he said, firmly. “I’m not a foot soldier anymore. I’ll make sure I’m here.”
“Your life is even less your own as commander.” she said. “If you’re called to duty, you’ll have to go.”
Steve knew she was right, but the frown on his face told her he didn’t like it.
She reached across and took his hand. “If you’re here for the holidays, we’ll have our first Christmas at home. If you’re away, I’ll go to Montreal with my dad, okay? That way you won’t have to worry about me being alone on Christmas.”
“Okay,” he said, “but I will be with you for Christmas. I don’t mind going to Montreal. I’ve never really had a big family Christmas.”
“We could do that. You know they’d love to have us.” Ginny said. “I don’t think we’d get away with staying in a hotel this time, though. We’ll probably have to stay at my uncle’s.”
“In separate bedrooms?” Steve asked with a smile.
“I don’t think so…but you never know.” She smiled back at him.
Just then, their dinner arrived and they talked of inconsequential things or not at all as they ate.
Ginny pointed at the window at one point and said, “Look at how the planes are all lined up to land.” Steve could see lights in the sky stretching back into the distance.
“Is that what that is?” he said, looking more closely at the sky.
“A plane lands at Pearson every 2 minutes. It’s Canada’s busiest airport.” she told him.
He nodded and kept eating. Whenever Ginny noticed a landmark she knew, she would point it out and they spent an enjoyable hour over dinner being awed by the beautifully lit city.
Dinner and dessert done, they decided to wander through the theatre district, just north of the Roger’s Centre.
“It used to be called the Skydome” Ginny told, Steve, as they walked by the building. “I never understood why they didn’t keep Skydome and call it Roger’s Skydome instead of Roger’s Centre.” She shook her head in consternation.
They held hands as they walked past all of the bright lights to University, where they grabbed the subway back to their hotel.
They were still holding hands as they got onto the elevator up to their room. Steve was stroking Ginny’s fingers with his thumb and the sensation was starting to arouse her.
Once the elevator doors closed, she turned to him to kiss him and found that he was in the same state.
“What is it about hotel elevators?” she said against his lips as she kissed him deeply and passionately.
Steve turned them and pressed Ginny against the back wall of the elevator. Ginny pulled him into her, then reached up and tangled the fingers of one hand in his hair, urging their kiss deeper.
Luckily, no one joined them on the elevator. By the time they got to their floor, they were breathless and a little giddy. After a little fumbling with the key card at their door, they managed to get in to their room.
Inside the door, they turned to each other again, kissing and starting to strip off clothes.
Jackets and shoes had come off when Steve pulled away and cupped Ginny’s cheek with his hand. He looked deeply into her eyes before kissing her softly on the lips.
“I love you.” he whispered and kissed her deeply again. This time, when he pulled back, he leaned down and scooped her into his arms and carried her to the bed.
He laid her gently on the bed and laid on his side beside her. He looked down the length of her body and rested his hand on her belly.
“Is there more?” he asked.
“More?” she asked, puzzled. “You mean more ways to come together?” He nodded. “There’s always more.” she answered, pulling him down for a kiss.
“Every time we make love, it’s different.” she said, breathlessly, moving his hand up to her breast and kissing him again.
She pulled back as a sudden unsettling thought struck her. “Why? Are you not satisfied with what we’ve been doing?”
“Of course I am!” he said, quickly. “We just spoke once about more ways to have sex and I was just wondering…” His voice trailed off.
She kissed him deeply again, reaching down to stroke him through his pants, which they hadn’t managed to get off yet. “I’ve made love to you in ways I never have with anyone else.” She shrugged her shoulders and said, “If there’s more, we’ll have to discover it together.”
Steve smiled and started to work on getting his sweater off while she worked on his pants. Finally, they both gave up the struggle and sat up to get rid of their remaining clothes.
He bent his head down to suck on one, then the other nipple and was rewarded with her moans of pleasure and arched back.
He came up and looked at her, then gently kissed her lips. “I don’t want you to be bored.” he explained.
She pulled him in and kissed him deeply. “Do I look bored?” she asked, breathlessly, reaching over to stroke him with her thumb.
He closed his eyes and flexed his hips toward her and moaned in pleasure. “No.” he breathed.
She continued this slow, torturous stroking and circling , while she mimicked the motion with circling her tongue over and around his in the same pattern as her thumb.
He reached down and grabbed her hand to stop her. “Too much.” he whispered. “I need to be inside you.”
She guided him in and he pushed in deep and was still for a minute, breathing heavily.
“Nope.” he said, finally and started to thrust into her hard and fast. Ginny was with him and started her spiraling climax after the first few strokes. She gripped his shoulders and held on as he took her over the edge with him.
He tucked his hands under her as he came down to catch his breath. Ginny wrapped her legs around him, holding him still inside her and gently stroked his arms and back. She pressed her lips against his neck, then his shoulder.
It took them a few minutes to catch their breath. Finally, Steve said, “It is always different, isn’t it?” He propped himself up to look at her. “I never expected it to be like this, so…intimate, so…” he searched for the word and couldn’t come up with it.
“All I ever heard about sex was that guys wanted it and girls didn’t, so just do your thing and get it over with. It wasn’t even something I was looking for in a relationship; it seemed like a lot of trouble to put a girl through just for my satisfaction.” Steve said, tracing his finger down her chest between her breasts.
“But you wanted me right from the beginning and let me know that. It scared me a little, actually; your openness about sex.”
“But now, to know that I please you as much as you please me is amazing. When I kiss you or touch you and you respond. It’s…not what I expected.” he finished a little lamely.
“So why do you want to know if there more? Don’t you like surprises?” Ginny said, teasingly.
“Yes and no.” he said and kissed the tip of her nose, which made her giggle.
She put one hand on his cheek and stroked her thumbs along his lower lip. “I love you, Steve. It’s that fact that makes whatever we do in bed so satisfying.”
“I love you, too.” he said and leaned in to kiss her again. He flexed his hips and she arched her back to take him deeper in response. He took his time this time, teasing her until neither could hold back anymore, then taking them both to an explosive climax that left them sweating and shattered.
Sleep came easily after that, even though it was still early. Steve formed his body to her back as she curled into a fetal position. He pushed her hair away from his face and smiled. She was more…more than he had ever expected and he was well content to hold this living flame in his arms.
He spoke quietly. “Goodnight, love.” She answered with a sleepy mumble.
He slid his hand down to her belly. “Goodnight, Dot.” he said, quietly.
Ginny covered his hand with hers and smiled. He was so much more than she’d expected, too.