A Time for Heroes – Chapter 33 – Hockey Rivalry

Three hours later, Steve opened his eyes and stretched. He was alone in the bed, which left him confused for a second, until he heard the toilet flush and felt Ginny crawl back under the covers with him.

Seeing him awake, she said, “Did I wake you up, babe? I’m sorry.”

“Just missed you next to me.” he said and pulled her close.

She propped her arms on his chest so she could look at him. “Sleep well?” she asked, suggestively.

“Yes, thank you. My mind was just chaos. There’s no way I’d have gotten back to sleep without you.” he said, fluffing the pillow behind his head so he could look at her. “You seem to know what I need before I do.”

“That was a little selfish on my part. I wasn’t ready to be awake, but I would have been if you were.” she said.

“Well, now we are awake, we need to talk about getting my Canadian girl back to Canada next weekend.” Steve pushed some stray hairs off of her cheek.

“Sounds like a nice leisurely drive is out.” she said, sadly. “Too bad. I was looking forward to that.”

“For this time, yes.” he said. “We are going to fly Avengers’ air. They’re calling everyone in and they want me to be able to get back on a moment’s notice. I thought you could take the chopper from Stark’s on Thursday afternoon and meet me at HQ and we can take the Quinjet from there.”

“Sounds like a plan.” she said. “I’ll be glad not to miss the kids. They had so much fun with Bucky and Nat! Bucky is quite a character. I have to admit, I don’t know him very well, but he had as much fun as the kids did.”

“Bucky’s always loved kids.” Steve said. “He had a couple younger brothers and I remember him playing with them. He was just a natural-born father. I just hope the experiments Hydra did don’t put that out of reach for him.” Steve looked concerned for a second then smiled and stroked her cheek with one finger.

“Part of me is still afraid that this is a dream that I’m going to wake up from someday.” he said, huskily.

She pinched him playfully on the chest and he jumped before covering her hand with his to stop her.

“Nope, not a dream.” she said. “I’m so glad. With this kind of dream, I’d never want to get out of bed.”

He smiled at her, still playing with her bangs, which had faded almost to white.

“Are you doing red and white for the wedding?” Steve asked.

She blew her bangs up and said, “I was thinking about that, but I want to do something for tomorrow, too.”

“You could do red and white for tomorrow, too. Remind me that I’m marrying a pretty Canuck…is that right…Canuck?” he asked.

She wrinkled her nose. “Yes…a Canuck from the land of the double-double and the Timbit!”

He laughed. “Timbit, I get. We had those in Montreal. What’s double-double?” he asked.

“Tim’s coffee with 2 creams and 2 sugars…double-double.” she explained.

“Ah. Does all Canadian culture revolve around Tim Hortons?” he asked.

“No, but Tim’s is a Canadian success story that really hasn’t been taken over by the US, so it’s become rather iconic.” she said.

“So I’ll have a double-double and some Timbits as we cross the border and not pronounce the second ‘t’ in Torono, and I should be fine.” he said, smiling.

“You’re more than fine already. Everybody is going to love you! I can’t wait to show you off.” she said with a huge smile.

“Does everyone in Canada know who I am? I mean, do they know who Captain America is?” he asked.

“I don’t know about everyone, but we did get the news when you guys defended New York and there were lots of background stories on all of the Avengers. I think most folks up there would know who you are…but don’t worry about getting mobbed or anything. That’s not the way we are.” she said.

“I’m always surprised when people recognize me.” he said. “Like I’m some movie star. It’s a little off-putting.”

“You do cut a pretty breath-taking figure, Steve. Even people who don’t know who you are take a second look.” she said, running her hand along his chest with a salacious look. “Even I take a second look sometimes.”

“Anyway,” she said, rolling off of him, “red would clash with my dress for tomorrow.”

“Why, what colour is your dress?” he asked.

“Blue, true blue…the colour of oath taking and the giving and receiving of vows.” she said.

“I didn’t know that. I had planned to wear blue, too, though. Is that okay?” he asked.

“Sure…we’ll be the Bobsy twins.” she said, laughing. “Do you want breakfast or shower first?”

“Isn’t there another choice?” he said, pulling her back down. “I feel like I owe you.”

She smiled and lifted herself up to kiss him. “Raincheck? Ellen’s going to be here between 10:30 and 11. Knowing Ellen, she wouldn’t have a problem meeting you for the first time en dishabille, but you might.”

“You mean she’s be okay meeting us in bed?” he asked, surprised.

Ginny nodded. “She’s pretty open. I think you’ll like her.”

She kissed him quickly again and got out of bed. “You grab a shower. I’ll start breakfast.” she said, pulling on yoga pants and a sweatshirt.

Steve watched her get dressed and marveled at how good she looked even in a sweatshirt.

 

When Steve came out of the shower, he found coffee waiting and omelettes just about ready.

He came up behind her and kissed the back of her neck. “Smells delicious.” he said.

He held up his left hand and said, “We never took our rings off.”

She held up hers next to his and said, “That’s okay. We’ll take them off for tomorrow. They’re too pretty to hide in a box.” The more she looked at hers, the more she loved it!

They sat down to eat and Ginny said, “I’m rather upset now that we couldn’t swing the hand-fasting on Saturday. Sunday means you’ll have to rush back and we won’t get a ‘wedding night’, so to speak.”

“I’m not heading back Sunday night.” Steve said. “I’m sorry. I just hadn’t had a chance to tell you. We’re staying at Casa Stark Sunday night. I’ll work from there Monday and maybe even  Tuesday, so it’ll be an extended visit.”

“Oh, Steve! That’s wonderful!” she said, giving him one of her glorious smiles.

“As long as I’m back for Wednesday to pack and talk to Fury again before we leave. And Jas says to see her on Thursday for test results and a pregnancy test.” Steve looked up to see a worried look cross Ginny’s face.

He reached across the table and took her hand. “It’ll be okay. Whatever the results, we’ll deal with it.” But there was a little worm of unease in his stomach, too.

They finished breakfast in silence and Ginny left Steve to clean up while she had a shower.

Ellen was there right at 10:30. She had workshops and ritual all afternoon and evening, but she wanted to spend some time with Steve and Ginny. She wouldn’t marry or even hand-fast a couple she didn’t think belonged together.

But 10 minutes was all she needed to see that her friend had found her soulmate. They went over the ceremony, and talked about the calling in of the elements and which gods would be invoked. Ellen asked if some of their friends might take a part. Ginny thought they would, but she would have to make some calls today to see. If not, Ellen said she was comfortable taking care of that part.

Ellen had split the vows. She gave Steve and Ginny the more intimate vows they had wanted included and said, “Maybe you can make these vows to each other before you make love tonight or tomorrow morning.” Steve’s face started to burn as a blush rose up his neck.

Ellen pretended not to notice and took Steve and Ginny’s  left hands. “These are the rings you’re going to exchange? Beautiful choices! Will someone bring them in for you, or are you going to carry them?”

Ginny answered, “I’ve sewn a little pocket I my skirt just for the ring. I’d like it to be really personal.” She looked at Steve and he nodded.

That was the business taken care of. Ellen stayed for a little while longer, chatting and catching up before taking her leave.

“You know, if you’re going to live in New York,” she said to Ginny, “you should go out to some of Mama Donna’s rituals. They’re really life changing.”

“Don’t know yet if we’re staying in the city, but I get her newsletters. Maybe Yule…that looks like a fun one.” Ginny said and hugged and kissed her friend goodbye. Ellen took Steve’s hand to shake and pulled him into a hug, too.

Ginny had thought a lot about what they should wear for this day. Her ‘dress’ consisted of a long flowing peasant skirt, a Juliette top with oversized sleeves which she had tacked up so they’d be out of the way; and a blue and gold brocade corset. She had found a pair of blue and gold brocade ballet style flats to finish it off.

She hadn’t spoken to Steve about any of this, but once he saw the outfit, he thought he’d be underdressed.

“Well, I made you something, too.” she said, shyly. She pulled out the blue and gold brocade tunic she had made for him earlier in the week. He could just wear it over what he had planned to wear with an old style slim leather belt she’d found.

He tried it on over his jeans and t-shirt and said, “You know, I probably still have some tights and my boots. Might look more medieval.”

“It might, but I think this over your blue shirt and pants will be perfect. You don’t need boots because we’ll be barefoot for the ceremony.” Ginny said. She helped him with the belt, which looped through the buckle and back over the belt, leaving a tail hanging down, which she moved to the side.

“You’d wear your sword at the knot.” she said. “Maybe we’ll get you one for the wedding.”

He looked at her in the mirror to see if she was kidding, but she didn’t seem to be. “Really? A sword? Do they still make them?” he asked.

“Of course. Mostly for reenactment or ceremonial uses now, though.” she answered.

She stood beside him in her finery and looked at them in the mirror. “We’ll do.” she said with a smile.

He looked down at her and she raised her head for a kiss. Steve turned her towards him to kiss her more deeply.

“I still owe you.” he said, huskily. “If we have nothing else that we need to do.”

“A couple of phone calls but they can wait.” she said surrendering her lips to him again.

 

It was some time later as they lay together well satisfied that Steve noticed the rings again. He brought hers up close to examine it.

“That’s the colour of my eyes?” he asked, still looking at the play of light deep in the diamond.

“There are so many different shades of blue in your eyes, they sometimes remind me of a diamond as it sparks and shines.” she said.

“You can thank the enhancement for that, too.” he said. “My eyes were always blue but not this light.”

She propped herself on one elbow to look at him. “Really?” she said. “I didn’t know that. I wonder why?”

He shrugged and kissed her palm where the ring sat and said, “I just figured it was because the serum was blue. Once Dr. Erskine was shot, there really wasn’t anyone to ask.”

She settled back down beside him and said, “You’re right. It will take a lifetime to get to know you.”

Steve caressed her back absently. “Should we have called your dad back from Montreal?”

“I talked to him this week and he didn’t seem upset to be missing this, as long as there’s a wedding to come.” she said. “But that’s before I knew Tony was planning it all!”

“I just don’t want to get on his bad side again.” Steve said.

Ginny smiled. Steve had such a sweet side!

“I should get up and call Tony to see who can call the elements. I don’t even know who’s going to be there tomorrow!” Ginny said, not moving.

“A few more minutes.” Steve said. “It’s been a very long week and it eases my mind to hold you like this.” He pressed his lips to the top of her head and they lay together for another half hour, just quiet in their own thoughts.

Finally, Steve asked, “Are we going to pack everything up and get dressed at Stark’s?”

“I can ask Tony when I call him if that fits with his plans.” she said.

He reached over and grabbed his phone. “Here. Just call him now. I’m sure there have been a few times when he’s called me that he’s been in bed with Pepper, so I don’t think he’ll mind.”

She smiled at him and took the phone, then snuggled back in next to him.

Tony asked a few questions about the elemental calls, then asked her to send him the script for each and said he’d take care of it. But he wouldn’t tell her who was attending.

“Let me have my fun.” was all he’d say.

“Should we come early and plan to dress there?” she asked.

“Sure,” he said, “then you’ll be set for the night.”

Ginny held Steve’s phone for a second before handing it back. “I should dye my hair.” she said, regretfully.

“What colour?” he asked.

“I bought a pale blue and a gold, but I’m afraid they’ll mix and I’ll just end up with green. So probably just the blue.” she answered.

“Maybe you can just dye the tips gold.” he suggested.

“Hmmm…I’ll try that.” she said.

“I should check if there’s anything more from Fury or the team on the situation in Europe.” Steve said.

So they went their separate ways in the little apartment; Ginny to the washroom and Steve to the kitchen.

About an hour later, Ginny came out to show Steve her handiwork. She had managed to stripe her bangs so as they fell together the strands interspersed, creating a brocade effect.

“Wow!” Steve said. “That’s pretty ingenious!”

He pushed his chair back so she could sit in his lap. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him sweetly on the lips.

“Any luck here?” she asked.

“Nothing.” Steve said in disgust as he reached over and shut his tablet off. “Except having a beautiful woman in my lap.”

“Do you have anything else you need to do here?” she asked as she pulled his mouth down to hers, tangling her hand in his hair.

He moved his hand up to her breast just as she pulled away sucking on his lower lip. He had no idea why that turned him on so much, but it did.

Ginny slipped off of his lap and taking his hand, led the way to the bedroom.

Once there, they took their time undressing each other, making sure to touch and excite each naked area exposed.

Steve left his prosthetic on and laid on his back on the bed, so that Ginny could slide down onto him.

They took a few strokes to settle themselves and then Steve reached up to stroke and squeeze her nipples, making her arch towards him and moan her pleasure.

She covered his hands with hers and said, “I think we have some vows to exchange.” Her voice was husky with need.

“Like this?” he asked in surprise.

“Well,” she said, adjusting herself on him, “they’re about this so why not?”

Ginny leaned forward to kiss him, pulling off of him as she did. As she sat back, he flexed his hips to bury himself more deeply inside her.

“You first, then.” he said, placing his hands on her hips.

“Okay.” she said with a shy smile. “I will make it my mission that you are always satisfied in our lovemaking.”

Steve smiled. That’s an easy one, he thought.

“I will be here to chase your demons away at night when they keep you awake.” She smiled seductively at him, remembering that morning.

“I will try to always be pleasant when you need me in the middle of the night.” She leaned forward and put her hands on his chest for support so she could pull up slowly and then press back down with a little sigh. Steve closed his eyes, enjoying the sensation.

“I will never fake an orgasm and will always try to be honest about what I like and don’t like in our lovemaking.” Steve had reached up and was stroking her nipples. Ginny found this very distracting and paused for a minute to enjoy it, arching her back and pushing her breasts more deeply into his hands.

“And I will trust that you will do the same and not worry needlessly that things are not right.” she finished finally.

“I know that there will be challenges, like a new baby and you finally having to deal with my periods,” She smiled at him and he smiled back. “and absences and the needs of others. Through it all, I will always try to put you first, to find time and energy for this,” She stroked up and down again to clarify her meaning, “so that we can create a safe, happy and secure home for us and for our family.” She rested her hand on her belly and looked down at where they were joined.

He put his hand over hers and she could see tears glistening on his lashes.

“All this I vow to you: my man, my lover, my husband, in love and in the sanctity of our bedchamber from this day forward as long as we are together.”

She leaned forward then and kissed him deeply. Then he pulled her down to his chest. Her words had touched him deeply and he needed a second to regain control of his emotions before he could say his vows.

He was stroking her back soothingly and Ginny snuggled in to his chest more deeply, enjoying the tingly sensation. Steve flexed his hips to push himself more deeply into her.

Then he cleared his throat and said, “I guess it’s my turn.”

Ginny sat up and pulled her legs in tight to squeeze him and smiled at him as he arched his back a little bit to deepen his penetration.

He took a deep breath. “I will always try to be present when we make love and not let the cares of the day interfere.” he said.

She smiled. That might be a tall order, she thought, with some of the things he had to deal with.

He smiled at her. “I will try not to need you too often in the middle of the night.” She laughed at this one.

“I will learn how to play the tease for you and I will try not to get too embarrassed when you do it in public.”

“I will try not to worry so much about hurting you or not pleasing you and trust you to tell me when things aren’t right or good for you.”

“And I will be here for you when you need me in the middle of the afternoon or anytime. Through all the challenges I know are coming, I vow to put you first and to find time each day to be intimate with you, even if it can only be by phone or text.”

“You are my life, my home, my lover, my wife. All this I vow to you in the sanctity of our bedchamber, from this day forward as long as we are together.” he finished, quietly.

It was Ginny’s turn for tears and Steve reached up and wiped one off of her cheek with his thumb.

She leaned forward to kiss him and he grabbed her hips and started plunging into her, seeking release.

She broke off their kiss to cry out incoherently as she felt herself start to spasm, Steve’s breathing ragged next to her ear.

He made a growling noise deep in his throat as he emptied himself deep inside her, then pushed her down onto him and held her still.

Ginny could still feel him buck and spasm inside of her as she tried to regain her senses.She lay with her ear over his  heart and he had his arms wrapped tightly around her, stroking her back where it was cold. They were on one side of the bed, so he pulled the blanket off of the other side to cover them.

Ginny sighed contentedly in the warmth of their little cocoon.

“I have one more.” she said, quietly, pressing her lips against his chest. “I will try to always make you make that sound.”

“What sound?” he asked. He was usually too focused to pay attention to what he sounded like.

“It sounds like a cross between a grunt and a moan and it comes out like a growl deep in your chest. It’s very sexy!” she told him.

He chuckled, which sounded like thunder rumbling through his chest.

“Well, I love it when you pant right before you let go; tells me we’re just about there.” he said, pulling the blanket up where it had fallen off her shoulder.

She lifted her head and gave him an odd look before lying her had back down.

“I don’t pant.” she said, firmly.

He chuckled again. “If I grunt, you pant. There’s lots of sexy little noises that you make, but it would be indelicate to try to describe them.” he said. “But I love them all.” He pushed her hair back behind her ear.

She lifted her head to look at him. “You are smitten, Rogers.” she said. He smiled and nodded, then flexed his hips to try to stay inside her. Ginny kissed him deeply and passionately and that was enough to help with that.

Then she laid her head back down on his chest.

“Thank you for doing this, Steve.” she said, after a moment.

“For making love to you?” he asked. “You don’t have to thank me for that.” He stroked into her a couple of times making her moan before settling her on him again.

“I mean all of it. The vows, the hand-fasting. I know it’s all very foreign to you but it means so much to me.” she said, quietly.

“The vows were perfect.” he said. “I don’t think we would have ever said those things to each other otherwise. And I loved the ending!”

“Who say we’ve reached the end?” she said, playfully, squirming so that she could feel him moving around inside her.

“Mmm.” he said. “I was hoping you’d say that.” and he flipped her over onto her back.

They kissed each other hungrily as Steve thrust in and out, slowly, teasing her. She was flexing her hips, urging him go faster, but he kept his slow and steady pace, truly enjoying the feel of his love squirming and needing beneath him.

She broke their kiss to moan, “Oh, god, Steve, please!” against his cheek.

He pulled back slowly and slammed himself deep into her and felt her fingernails digging into his back. He did it again and she started to contract around him. He let himself go as Ginny  cried out and pulled her legs in close to his hips.

Slowly, slowly, they both came back to their senses. Ginny gathered the blankets over them, and they lay quietly together for a few minutes. Steve reached over for tissues as he felt himself slipping and they wiped up and cuddled together again.

For almost an hour, they lay together touching and holding each other, each very aware of the other, but without talking. Then Steve’s stomach gave a loud and insistent rumble.

Ginny giggled and said, “Hungry?”

“I guess so.” he said with a smile. “I just really don’t want to move.”

She cuddled a little closer. “Me, neither.” she said, contentedly. “I’ve never known anyone I could be still with like this. Most people feel the need to fill silences.”

“I guess it depends on how comfortable they are with their own thoughts.” he said. “This was really peaceful. I might need to add this to my vows tomorrow…” He let his voice trail off.

Ginny smiled. Was it really tomorrow? she thought. Was this beautiful, sweet, loving man really going to commit himself to her? No, she realized suddenly. He already had. The hand-fasting was just a formality. And the wedding in a year would be the same.

She propped her arms on his chest and said, “Well, husband, how would you like to help me pull something together for supper?”

He smiled at her and said, “What did you have in mind, wife?” Then he pushed her blue and gold bangs out of her eyes.

“I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce last week and froze some. We could heat that up, cook some pasta, make garlic bread…sound good?” she asked.

“Sounds perfect.” he answered, but neither of them was ready to leave their little nest so they cuddled back together for a few more minutes.

“I love you.” Steve said, quietly, stroking her hair. “I had almost given up on that.” There was a long pause, but Ginny sensed he wasn’t done.

“When I lost my leg, I thought it was the end of the world. But that brought you into my life, so now I wonder if it wasn’t the best thing that could have happened to me.”

“I can’t see how we would have met otherwise.” Ginny said.

They were both quiet for a long time after that, contemplating that reality.

“But we did meet,” Steve  and said, “and now we’re having a baby and getting married. My life is so full.” His voice broke on the last word and he wrapped his arms around her more tightly.

She knew better than to follow him down that road. They’d both be sobbing if she did.

“Sappy, Rogers.” she said, wiping a tear from her eye. “Just wait until we’re actually living together with a baby and you have to change a middle of the night poopy diaper and then get up two hours later to save the world. You might not be so sentimental then.”

He started to laugh and it was infectious. In a few minutes, they were both giggling helplessly at the thought of Steve running off to save the world with baby poop on his uniform.

“Oh, God.” he said, finally, wiping tears of laughter from his eyes. “You always manage to bring me back down to earth.”

“It’s my job.” she said, reaching for the box of tissues and blowing her nose loudly. “Gotta keep you manly.” She aped a body builder pose. “Besides, you’ve got to know it’s not going to be all rainbows and unicorns.”

She was resting her chin on her arms which were on his chest so she could look at him.

“Yes, I do know that. I don’t recall many rainbows and unicorns so far, but I’m still deliriously happy.” He put his arm behind his head so he could look at her, too.

She smiled sweetly at him and moved up to kiss him. “I love you.” she whispered. “Let’s get some supper.”

 

Half an hour later they were enjoying a homemade pasta dinner with garlic bread. While they were eating, texts started coming in for Ginny from her dad and uncles and cousins…all trash talk over the game later. Ginny finally put her phone in the bedroom so that they could enjoy their dinner.

They finished up dishes and settled in to watch the hockey game. Ginny tuned into a Canadian channel because she said she hated the American commentators.

Steve had watched hockey before, but never as seriously as Ginny and her family seemed to. There were texts flying back and forth about bad calls and nasty hits and then Toronto scored, Ginny jumped up and yelled, “Yes!” pumping her fist in the air. This was definitely a side of her he’d never seen before!

When she sat down again, Steve said, “I didn’t realize you took your hockey this seriously.”

She laughed and said, “I don’t follow through the season. There’s just a fun rivalry between Toronto and Montreal, especially in my family.”

She paused for a second before adding, “Anytime Team Canada plays, though, I don’t miss it. Might be a little dicey when they’re playing Team USA now. But I’ll usually follow the stats and watch the final game, like the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. That was an amazing game!”

“Canada won?” he asked. “Against the US?”

“Of course!” she answered. He laughed at her cockiness.

So he started asking her about some of the rules that he didn’t understand. When  he asked about icing, though, he was surprised by her answer.

“No one understands icing…I don’t even think the refs understand it. Something about the puck crossing the blue line before a player of that team is there to catch it, but that doesn’t seem to always apply, so I’m never sure why they call icing.”

He shook his head. “And you call yourself a Canadian.” he said, teasingly.

She pushed him on the shoulder playfully before settling back down to watch the final period with Steve’s arm around her.

In the end, Toronto triumphed and Ginny called her dad to gloat a bit. He always cheered for Montreal.

“How did Steve enjoy the game?” Claude asked.

“He was very relieved to know I didn’t follow hockey this closely all the time.” Ginny answered. Claude laughed at that.

“But when you do, you’re pretty ferocious.” he said.

“I think that surprised him a little.” she said, looking over at Steve, who was flipping channels.

“He’ll get used to it.” Claude said. “Goodness knows, I had to with your mother!”

Ginny laughed. Her mom had loved all types of sports. “Yes, you did!” she said.

“Well, we should get some sleep.” she said. “Big day tomorrow. I’m starting to regret that you won’t be there, papa.” She felt sudden tears come to her eyes.

There was a pause at the other end of the phone. “But I am here.” Claude said. “Tony flew Jean-Guy and me in today. I thought you knew.”

It took Ginny a second before she trusted her voice. “You’re here? Where? At Stark’s?” she asked. Steve looked up at her at the change in her tone of voice.

“Oui, Cherie. Watched the game on the biggest TV I’ve ever seen!” Claude responded.

All Ginny could think was, Thank you, Tony!

“I’m so glad, papa.” she said in a husky voice.

“Moi, aussi, cherie.” Claude said. “Sleep well and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Bonne nuit, papa.” she said before hanging up.

“Your dad’s here?” Steve asked.

Ginny smiled at him. “He is. He and mon oncle. Tony flew them in today.” she said, quickly, wiping a tear off her cheek with the back of her hand.

She sat down on the couch with Steve and he put his arm around her and drew her in close to him.

“That was the only missing piece.” she said after a moment.

Steve smiled. He was glad he had told Tony to go ahead with this surprise. He pressed his lips against the top of her head.

She raised her head to look at him. “You knew, didn’t you?” It wasn’t an accusation, just a statement.

“Yeah, Tony told me the other day but he swore me to secrecy.” he said, smiling down at her.

She smiled back at him before putting her head back down on his chest. “Well, it’s a wonderful surprise.” she said, quietly.

They sat for a long time watching a rerun of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ before Ginny reached for a tissue.

Steve just pulled her closer and said, “Shhh…it’s okay.” He knew why she was crying. He’d miss his mom the next day, too. They had something in the ceremony honouring them and his dad, but nothing could replace them being there to share this moment.

It was after 11 when they decided to call it a night. But, although both of them were tired, they were also as excited as two kids on Christmas Eve.

So they brushed teeth and settled into bed together to whisper and giggle under the covers. It was after midnight when a quick kiss ignited something deeper and they came together like a thunderclap, releasing all of the tensions of the day. Then they settle to sleep.

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