A Time For Heroes – Chapter 34 – The Handfasting

handfastingThe next day dawned bright and sunny; a perfect autumn day to be outdoors! Ginny and Steve woke slowly but once they were awake, the busyness started. Showering, breakfast, packing. They exchanged rings so that they had each other’s ring to present at the ceremony. Then they went their separate ways. Ginny packed their duffle bags into the car and went to run a couple of personal errands and Steve hopped on his bike to do the same. As Ginny watched him ride away after an extended kiss, she sighed. She wished she was on the back of that bike, holding onto him, moving as he moved. But she had a gift to pick up, so she headed on her way.

 

They met in the garage at Stark Tower an hour later and asked Jarvis in the elevator what was going on.

“Mr. Stark is in the kitchen and asked that I direct you there when you arrive.” Jarvis said.

So off they went to the kitchen, where they found Tony, Pepper, Claude and Jean-Guy.

Ginny gave her dad and uncle each a big hug and then turned to Tony and Pepper.

“Sorry your secret came out early, you guys.” she said, hugging Tony and then Pepper.

“Not a problem.” Tony said. “It was only one day. I can live with that. Were there tears?” he asked Steve.

“A few.” Steve admitted, looking fondly at Ginny.

“Good.” Tony said, kissing Ginny on the forehead.

“Okay, so two hours until the ceremony. Are you guys hungry? Help yourselves to sandwiches and salad, and then off to get ready.” Pepper said.

Ginny wanted to know all about Claude’s time in Montreal and a half an hour passed quickly with lots of laughter.

Once they were done eating, Pepper whisked Ginny and her duffle bag away, while the men took charge of Steve.

Waiting in the prep room for Ginny was Sylvie.

“But you’re getting married next weekend. You don’t have time to be here!” Ginny said, as she hugged her friend tightly.

“How could I miss this?” Sylvie said, simply. “Mr. Stark called and offered to fly us up for the weekend. I couldn’t say no.”

“Us?” Ginny asked. “Did Doug come with you?”

“Of course!” Sylvie said. “We’re almost married, you know!” She laughed prettily at her joke. “When will you and Steve be in Toronto?”

And so they chatted while Pepper pulled out Ginny’s clothes. There was a steamer to take care of any wrinkles, and champagne to help ease Ginny’s nerves.

Pepper offered a second glass of champagne, but Ginny refrained.

“After.” she said. “I want a clear head for this.”

Ellen came in shortly after like a whirlwind! There were four volunteers to help call the elements. Claude was ready to walk Ginny into the circle, and Bucky was waiting outside with a gift from Steve.

Ginny had almost forgotten her gift! The box was in her bag. She had brought wrapping paper to the engravers and wrapped it there. The gift card just said, ‘Love, G’

She handed this to Sylvie and Ellen took her out to find Steve.

Bucky came in with a wrapped package which he handed to Ginny and waited.

“How’s Steve?” Ginny asked.

“He’s good. A little nervous, but not too much.” Bucky answered.

Ginny sat down and looked at the gift card.

‘You are my home – Steve Rogers’ She smiled at this. He always signed his full name. She’d have to ask him why some day.

She tore open the wrapping paper to find a hand drawing of her! She was serious and had her eyes downcast with her bangs falling over one eye. It was black and white except for the bangs, which were purple. And it was perfect in every detail! Even the small mole above her eyebrow was there. She studied it for a few moments before noticing that the signature was the same as on the card.

“He drew this?” she asked, looking up at Bucky.

Bucky nodded. “He’s good, isn’t he? It’s what he did before. He was a freelance artist.” he said, smiling.

“Steve wanted me to ask if you know when this was.” Bucky said.

Ginny looked at the picture again.

“It has to be the first time we met. He said it was the purple hair that pulled him out of his gray place.” She frowned at the memory of how far away he’d been that night. Then she got up and hugged Bucky and kissed him on the cheek before he left.

Ginny stood the picture up on a table and stood back to look at it. A hero with the heart of an artist! How did she not know this? She wiped her eyes quickly with a tissue.

Sylvie came back and said, “Wow! Steve was blown away by your gift! He even teared up a little bit!”

Ginny smiled and sat down at the vanity to put on make-up. “Tell me.” she said.

“When he opened it up and saw the engraving, he knew exactly what it meant even though it was in Latin. And then he turned it over and saw his emblem and that’s when he got teary.” Sylvie said. “What does Divus Julius Invictus mean?”

“Divus Julius unconquered.” Ginny answered. “It says invictus on the other side, too, under his emblem.”

“I asked him if he knew what it was for and he just said, protection.” Sylvie said. “The protection of Julius Caesar?”

“Who better?” Ginny said. “He was the best!”

“Anyway, he and Tony were working on attaching the scabbard to his belt when I left, so he’ll be wearing it.” Sylvie smiled. It hadn’t been an ornate sword. Sylvie had recognized it from her history classes as a Roman gladius or short sword.

Ginny had finished her make-up and stood up for final inspection. Her corset pushed her breasts up nicely; the sleeves of the Juliette top cascaded down her arms perfectly; her skirt was tucked up into her waistband on one side, showing a hint of leg; and her blue and gold bangs fell nicely across her forehead. She had thought about a crown of ribbons but had decided that would be too much.

Sylvie kissed her quickly to go and take her place to call air just as Claude arrived and they got started.

 

All of the guests stood around the sacred circle. Inside were five altars. Ginny and Claude stood back and watched as Steve crossed into the circle and joined Ellen at the Spirit altar. Steve was alone but not alone. Ginny could sense the presence of his parents beside him, just as she could feel her mother and aunt beside her. So close to Samhain with the veils so thin, how could they not be there?

Ginny curled her toes in the soft, moist grass and felt her connection to the earth take hold.

When she and Claude moved forward into the sacred circle, she was deeply grounded and felt rather than saw who would be calling the elements. The flame at the Fire altar could only be Thor. Bubbly and effervescent, Sylvie was at Air. Fluid and flowing, Nat would call Water. And solid and an anchor for both of them, Bucky stood at the Earth altar.

And shining ahead of her, the warrior and the priestess.

Claude put Ginny’s hand into Steve’s and said, “You are a very lucky man.”

Steve clapped him on the shoulder and said, “Thank you, Claude. I know I am.” and turned to take both of Ginny’s hands into his.

But Claude wasn’t finished. He turned to Ginny and said, “And you are a very lucky young woman.”

Ginny smiled at Steve, then turned and gave Claude a kiss on the cheek. “I know, papa.” then turned back to take Steve’s hands.

Ellen started by explaining the purpose of a hand-fasting; that it wasn’t legally binding but that Geneviève and Steve were choosing to commit to each other for a year and a day. In that time, they were to share their lives as a married couple and at this time the following year, they would come back before this group to declare their intentions either to marry or to go their separate ways.

Then Ellen led them around to each of the elemental altars to received blessings and gifts.

They started with Sylvie. “Air offers you the gift of communication. May you always be sending and receiving the same message.” Sylvie picked up two pieces of raw quartz, blew on them and handed them to Ginny and Steve. Steve looked at the stone and then at Ginny, who smiled up at him. She tucked the stone in the pocket of her skirt so he put his in his pocket as well.

Then they were facing Thor. Before he said anything, he raised his hammer above his head to call lightening to him, then directed it into the cauldron full of kindling on the altar behind him. The wood caught well and Thor turned to them. “Fire offers you the gift of passion. May you always find satisfaction in each other’s arms and in all of your worldly endeavours.”

Thor picked up two uncut garnets and passed them through the flames before handing one to each of them. Thor winked at Steve, who smiled back.

Next they faced Natasha. “Water offers you the gift of acceptance. May you be open to new challenges and gifts throughout your year together.” She poured water from a glass pitcher over two rough lapis lazuli in a glass bowl, then picked them out and gave them to Steve and Ginny. It was Ginny who got the wink this time.

Bucky was next and he took a minute to make sure he was in control. He hadn’t expected this ceremony to affect him so much!

Finally, he said, “Earth offers you the gift of connectedness. Through the earth you are connected to all other beings. This is your stable footing on which to build.” He turned toward the pot of soil on his altar and plunged both hands into it, coming up a moment later with two dark and shining hematite stones. He dusted as much soil as he could off of them before handing them to Steve and Ginny. He and Steve beamed at each other before Steve and Ginny returned to Ellen at the Spirit altar.

Ellen faced them and said, “Spirit offers you the gift of knowledge. In each of us, there is a spark of divinity that is nourished by living in deep connection and harmony with the earth and all of her creatures. May you enrich the lives of all around you and in turn be enriched by sharing your divine light.” Thor had come up behind them with two lit splints which Ginny and Steve took, touched together to form one flame, then lit the large pillar candle on the altar with that flame. They handed the splints back to Thor.

“In ancient Roman times, each home had household gods; those gods that the family deemed important enough to honour every day. Some of these gods, known as Lares, were chosen from among the family’s beloved dead. Others were chosen from the Roman pantheon of gods or other pantheons that the Romans adopted as they conquered the world.”

Ellen paused before going on. “These choices are never static and can change at any time, but these are the gods Geneviève and Steve have chosen to watch over their household for the next year.”

Ginny picked up the picture of her mom and aunt Thérèse as young girls from the altar and Steve had done a quick hand-drawing from memory of his mom and dad.

They turned towards their guests and Ginny said, “My Lares will be my mom, Régine, and my aunt Thérèse.”

“Mine will be my mom and dad, Sarah and Joseph Rogers.”, Steve said.

“I choose to honour the Hindu goddess Kali in our home, she who brings change and demands acceptance.” Ginny said.

Steve paused for a moment. “I choose to honour Divus Julius, a general undefeated in the field, and when his life was taken by treachery, unconquered as a god. His guidance and oversight will be a welcome help to me in the field.”

Ellen turned them back to the altar where an orchid and dish of honey represented Kali and a chalice of vinegar and water and a dagger represented Divus Julius.

Then Ellen prompted them to join their right hands and stepped back.

“Our turn.” Ginny whispered to Steve.

He pulled a little scared face at her and she smiled at him before starting.

“I will talk to you, even when I’m afraid that what I will say will upset you. I will trust our love to help us through.” Ginny said, squeezing Steve’s hand.

“I will listen,” Steve said, “and always try to keep in mind that we come from different worlds and to understand the meaning behind the words.”

Sylvie came forward with a white cord and draped it over their hands tying it at the bottom.

Ginny looked at the cord binding them and smiled, thinking, I may have to keep these. She looked up at Steve to see him shaking his head at her ever so slightly. She smiled at how well they did communicate!

“I will put you first and be sure that nothing comes between us. I will have passion for other things in my life, but you will always be my first passion.” Ginny said, remembering the vows they had exchanged the night before.

“You are my lady and I will hold you up above all others and worship you as you deserve.” Steve said, showing his fire by changing his vow. Ginny raised her eyebrow at him, but he only smiled.

Thor came up with a red cord and wrapped it around beside the white cord and tied it.

“I know that there will be times when we won’t be who the other needs, when we may seem to grow in different directions. I promise to always try to find the common ground as we grow and evolve.” Ginny said.

“I can’t imagine a time when we will not be as we are today, but if that should happen, I will keep an open mind and try to accept the changes that come into our lives.” Steve said.

Natasha came to them with a blue cord and wrapped it around their hands and tied it.

“There are many forces pulling us different directions.” Ginny said. “There will always be temptations and distractions. Through it all, you will be my anchor, my home.” Ginny looked so earnest as she looked up into Steve’s eyes, his breath caught in his throat.

“I didn’t know anyone could ever fill my heart as much as you do. You bring me back down to earth when I get distracted. You are my home, my base.” Steve stroked her fingers under the cords.

Bucky added his brown cord over the rest and squeezed their hands after he tied the knot.

Ellen held a gold cord, which she wove in between the other cords before tying it in a firm knot.

“Spirit will weave itself through every aspect of your lives. Open to it and you will be nourished and supported in all you do.” Ellen said, resting her hand over theirs.

“Rings?” Ellen asked. Both Ginny and Steve nodded.

Ellen held out a small plate for them to place their rings on. Then she walked over and gave the plate to Sylvie. She lit a smudge bundle from Thor’s cauldron. She took a large eagle feather and waved some of the smoke from the smoldering smudge bundle over the rings.

Sylvie walked the rings over to Thor, who passed them through the flames dancing in his cauldron. Then he walked them to Nat, who washed them thoroughly in water.

Bucky took them and buried them in the pot of soil, bringing them out a few seconds later and wiping them clean with a damp cloth. This was all familiar to Ginny, who’d been to handfastings before, but Steve watched with interest the circuit their rings took.

Bucky brought the rings back to Ellen who scooped a tiny bit of water and vinegar from the chalice with a wooden spoon and dipping her finger into the honey, mixed it into the water in the spoon. Then she slowly dribbled the liquid over the rings before presenting the plate, first to Steve.

He took Ginny’s ring and said, “I give you this ring as a token of my love and devotion. May you wear it in health and happiness.” He slid the ring onto her finger.

Ginny took Steve’s slender gold ring and held it at the tip of his finger while she repeated his words. Then she slid the ring into place.

Ellen untied and unwound the gold cord and the others followed, each leaving their cord on the Spirit altar.

Ellen took Steve and Ginny’s clasped hands and said, “You are handfast for a solar rotation. We will meet here at that time to hear your decision about your future.” She paused for a moment before saying, “I think a kiss is in order.” which brought waves of applause down upon them.

Steve placed his finger under Ginny’s chin to tilt her head back, then he pressed his lips gently to hers. She put her hand firmly on the back of his neck to deepen the kiss. Steve pressed his forehead against hers and looking into her eyes, whispered, “I love you.”

“Je t’adore, aussi.” Ginny responded in French.

Through this they were suddenly aware of music starting, and when they looked up, Ellen was leading everyone in a sacred circle dance around them.

“It is traditional for friends and family to do a circle dance around the newly joined couple, signifying the circle of love and support you have around you.” Ellen said as she continued to dance.

Ginny and Steve looked around at the circle surrounding them and truly saw who was there for the first time. Then Steve pulled Ginny in for another kiss.

“You want to dance, don’t you?” Steve asked, pulling back a little bit.

“I do.” she said, and taking his hand, led him to a spot beside her dad.

They quickly caught the steps and danced with the circle through that song and two more. It was an exhilarating way to end the ceremony!

Afterwards, everyone wanted to congratulate them, hug them, see the rings. All Ginny and Steve wanted to do was sneak away somewhere for a few minutes alone.

Suddenly, there was a photographer at Ginny’s elbow asking them to go into the garden for some pictures.

Tony handed Steve his shield. “Do I need this?” Steve asked. “What’s waiting for us in the garden?” He was suddenly uneasy, but his tone was joking.

“Just a prop, buddy.” Tony said.

They took a few formal pictures with her dad and uncle, Tony and Pepper, the Avengers, Sylvie and Bucky, who were, for all intents and purposes, their maid of honour and best man. Then the photographer wanted more candid shots of the two of them on a blanket on the grass, standing kissing on the little bridge over the brook, looking at something in the distance, and in many of these, the shield was present.

At one point, Steve handed Ginny the shield so he could adjust his tunic. She realized that she had never held it before. It was heavy, but not as heavy as it looked. It was freshly painted and it looked like the straps in the back were replaced regularly, but weren’t new now.

She slipped her arm through the straps and marveled at how the shield seemed to become a part of her, moving with her as she moved.

She hadn’t realized that the photographer had been shooting them as she tried on the shield. She looked up to see a look of pride on Steve’s face.

“We’ll have to get you one with a red maple leaf on it.” he said, his voice full of emotion.

“I know what this would be good for.” she said, turning towards him. She raised the shield up to hide them from the photographer’s lens so that they could share a private kiss.

“Best use I’ve seen for it.” Steve said, leaning in to kiss her again.

After what seemed like an eternity, the photographer was done with them and Tony ushered them back over to the area of the garden where the hand-fasting had taken place. It had been transformed! It was lit with a thousand tiny bulbs; there were tables and a small dance floor and champagne and hors d’oeuvres were being offered by liveried wait staff.

“Tony, you didn’t have to go to all this trouble.” Ginny said, a little concerned.

“This was not trouble, my dear.” he said. “I don’t get to throw enough parties any more. I didn’t bother with dinner, just hors d’oeuvres, so help yourself; the band will be here shortly.”

Ginny looked around for Sylvie, so she could properly introduce Steve.

Sylvie greeted him with a hug and a kiss on both cheeks and then introduced her fiancé, Doug.

Ginny and Sylvie started babbling away at each other in French. Steve turned to Doug and asked, “Do you speak French?”

“A little bit,” he answered, “but not enough to follow these two.”

“Come on.” Steve said. “Let me introduce you to some of the other Avengers.” He squeezed Ginny’s shoulder as he left and she smiled up at him.

Doug and Steve got along well. Doug was a commercial artist and designer and regaled Steve with tales of craziness in the art world. Steve had some pretty crazy stories from the 40s, too. They chatted with the other Avengers about missions and such before going back to find Sylvie and Ginny, who had managed to catch up and were talking to Nat and Clint.

The band had been setting up and warming up and Tony came over to pull Steve and Ginny onto the dance floor for their first dance. There was a lovely baby grand piano centre-stage and Ginny almost fainted when she saw who was sitting down on the bench.

Steve turned to her concerned as she missed her step and stumbled. “You okay?” he asked, glad he had his arm around her.

“Yes.” she said. “No. I don’t know. That’s Billy Joel!” She pointed at the pianist who was smiling down at them from the stage.

Tony was behind them and said, “He was free and he owed me a favour.” and pushed them forward onto the dance floor.

They both walked up to the stage to say hello and to thank Billy for coming to play for them.

He smiled, and after shaking their hands, said, “Yeah, Iron Man calls me to play at Captain America’s engagement party. How could I turn that down? I’ve got a special one to start, then I brought along some of the band and we’ll keep you dancing!” He shooed them into the middle of the dance floor and sitting down at the piano, picked out the first notes of ‘New York State of Mind’.

This was the first time they’d been truly alone since that morning at Ginny’s apartment.

“What a day!” Steve said, as they started to move around the dance floor.

“You can say that again! My head is spinning! I’m not sure how we top this for our wedding!” Ginny said.

“Let’s just elope.” Steve suggested.

Ginny laughed. “Sounds perfect.” she said, as Steve pushed her out for a spin.

They talked quietly about Sylvie and Doug and plans for the next weekend. Billy moved into ‘She’s Always a Woman’, and then ‘Just the Way You Are’, before bringing the band out to speed things up with ‘Only the Good Die Young’.

Billy Joel and his band played for over an hour, then there was another band who took over for the rest of the evening.

Billy came down and sat with Steve, Ginny, Tony and Pepper.

“I hear you’re not a bad piano player yourself, Geneviéve.” Billy said.

“That would be why you’re my hero!” Ginny said with a smile.

“Well, that’s quite an accolade for me considering who you’re marrying.” he said, smiling.

Ginny laughed and said, “Different type of heroics. Let me go and grab my dad. He’s the reason I know your music so well and he’ll kill me if he doesn’t get to meet you.” With that, she went in search of Claude.

She found him on the other side of the garden where they had taken pictures, sitting on a bench alone.

Ginny sat down next to him. “Papa?” she said, concerned.

He swiped a tear off of his face. “Don’t ever leave him like your mother left me.” he said.

Ginny put her arm around him and said, “She didn’t leave you, papa; she was ripped from you by a drunk driver. I don’t think she was any happier about it than you were.”

He took her hand in his and touched her ring. “When I put the ring on her finger, I meant to grow old with her. Now I get to grow old alone. Grow old with Steve. Make an old man happy.” He brought her hand to his lips and kissed it.

Ginny’s forehead creased in thought. She knew she’d grow old, but would Steve? She knew he wasn’t immortal; he could die. But he healed so fast, it wouldn’t be from old age.

She squeezed Claude’s hand and pushed her disturbing thoughts away. “I will do my very best, papa. But there’s someone who wants to meet you.” She got up and led the way back to the table where Billy and Tony and Steve were having an animated conversation about how music had changed in 70 years and not always for the better.

Billy got up and greeted Claude and they sat down and Claude joined in the conversation.

Ginny moved around behind Steve and put her hands on his shoulders. He covered one hand with his and twisted to look up at her.

“Can I talk to you for a minute?” she whispered near his ear.

“Of course.” he said, and got up to follow her to some good natured ribbing from the table.

Ginny led the way back to the bench where she had found her dad and they sat down.

“Is something wrong?” Steve asked, concerned.

She looked up at him, her brow creased with concern. “It just occurred to me that I will grow old and eventually die, while you won’t.” she said.

He had her hand in his and he was watching as he stroked her fingers. “I will age, just more slowly. And I can die; I almost did; so you may still outlive me.” He didn’t look up at her. He had thought about this, too…a lot.

She could see that he didn’t want to deal with this right now, and why should he? This wouldn’t really start to be an issue for a couple of decades.

“I just…” She stopped, looking for the right words, “I just hadn’t considered it and papa said something that made me realize.”

“This must be hard for your dad and Jean-Guy.” Steve said, finally looking up at her.

“It is.” she said. “Dad asked me to grow old with you to make my old man happy and that’s what made me realize…” Her voice trailed off.

Steve didn’t say anything. There was nothing he could say.

“I guess when I’m 60 and you still look 30, everyone will just think I’m a cougar.” She raised her clawed hand to him and roared.

He entwined his fingers with hers and said, “Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. We’ll have lots to deal with between now and then.”

“’Kay.” she said. “Can you believe that Billy Joel is here? It’s so amazing to see him perform live!”

“Tony certainly outdid himself.” Steve said.

Ginny looked up at Steve and saw the full moon rising behind him. “Look.” she said in a hushed voice, pointing. He turned around to see what she was pointing at and they sat for a few minutes just watching it rise out of the city scape.

“Well, it’s our party.” Steve said. “We should probably go back.” But he didn’t make a move to go.

“How long do you think before we can make a graceful exit?” Ginny asked.

“Probably a while yet.” Steve said, regretfully. “You look delicious in that corset. I can’t wait to get you out of it.”

Ginny smiled seductively at him. “I do have a surprise for you for later.” she said. “Gift wrap.” she mouthed.

He adjusted himself a little bit. “Don’t start that tonight! I’m having a hard enough time keeping my hands off of you as it is!” he said.

She smiled and kissed him chastely on the cheek. “Me, too.” she said. “Let’s go dance.” She took his hand and led him back to the dance floor.

 

The band was very good and Ginny and Steve danced for most of the rest of the night, either with each other or with their guests.

But finally, the day caught up with Ginny. In the flurry of the day, she could almost forget about Dot, but she had finally hit a brick wall and had to sit down.

Steve saw the fatigue on her face from the dance floor and excused himself from his dance partner to join her.

“Time for bed?” he asked, lightly.

“Well past time, I think” she answered. “I’m worried I might not make it up to the bedroom.”

“You know that’s not a problem.” Steve said, crouching down to scoop her into his arms. She wrapped her arms around his neck and laid her head against his shoulder. She was so exhausted, she felt herself drifting off even in his arms.

Steve didn’t bother with goodbyes. He caught Tony’s eye as he headed towards the building and Tony gave him a little wave.

In the elevator, Jarvis told them where they were going and let them off on the correct floor.

At the door, Ginny reached around to turn the doorknob and Steve pushed open the door to carry his beautiful lady over the threshold and into a romantic refuge! There were candles everywhere, rose petals scattered on the bed and soft music playing.

Steve put Ginny on her feet so she could see what he saw.

“Wow!” she said. She reached down to pick up a rose petal. She thought maybe they were silk, but no, they were real. The candles were all beeswax and between them and the rose petals, they gave the room a divine smell.

She turned to Steve and reaching her arms around his neck, kissed him deeply.

When he pulled away, he said, “I thought you were tired.” He pushed a couple of gold and blue strands of hair off of her face.

“Too tired to dance and socialize, but not too tired to fulfill my wifely duties.” she said and pressed her body against his as she kissed him hungrily again.

He stopped and ran his hand down the side of her corset. “Does this undo at the front or the back?” he asked, huskily.

She turned around and he was faced with dozens of little hooks! He would have almost preferred to tackle the laces at the front!

The corset finally disposed of, Steve reached around and cupped both breasts in his hands and stroked and teased her nipples through the soft, thin material of the Juliette top. She lay her head back against his chest and he could feel her breathing quicken as her nipples hardened.

She turned in his arms and claimed his lips again as she worked loose his belt and sword. The rest of their clothes came off in a frenzy as their excitement grew.

Ginny lay down on the bed and Steve lay beside her on his side, his head propped up on one elbow. He stroked her nipples, making her squirm and moan. He loved seeing her like this; needing and open to him. But he couldn’t decide what he wanted. He wanted it all! To bury his face in her breasts and then between her legs; to stroke her clit with his fingers until she exploded; to bury himself deep inside her and feel her climax around him; to come deep in her throat.

Ginny reached up and touched his cheek and he looked into her eyes. “What do you want, lover?” she whispered.

“I want it all and I can’t decide what to do first.” he answered, honestly.

She smiled. “Let’s consummate this. I want to feel you inside me.” she whispered.

He smiled and kissed her deeply before moving his mouth to her nipples.

She was more than ready when he rolled on top of her and slid easily into her.

He wanted to hold back, to tease, to prolong the pleasure, but once he started, he couldn’t seem to slow down. He pushed himself up so he could see Ginny as she came, but his eyes were tightly closed as he finished. He almost collapsed on her with the strength of his orgasm, but caught himself before he hurt her.

They lay together for a long time catching their breath. Steve reached for tissues to wipe up. Suddenly, all he wanted was to fall asleep in her arms. It had been the best day of his life and this was a perfect way to finish it.

He pulled her close to his side and she laid her arm over his chest and held him fiercely.

“I love you.” she whispered and pressed her lips against his chest.

He stroked her hair and said, “I love you, too, my darling. Sleep now. It’s been a very long day.”

She squeezed him tight. “It’s been a perfect day.” she said, drowsily.

“Every day with you is a perfect day, even the challenging ones.” he said.

He felt her smile before relaxing into sleep.

 

 

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