The next couple of days flew by. The kids were all oohs and aahs when Ginny showed them her engagement ring and vowed that they had not used any MMA moves at school. Once the assessments and machine work was done they paired up and sparred. Ginny hadn’t taught this in a while, but it all came back and the kids were so eager to learn.
“This is better than dancing.” Maya said at the end of their session.
Ginny had an hour to get to Stark Tower to catch her ride. Why hadn’t she thought to have the chopper pick her up at the hospital?
But she made it in plenty of time and was pleasantly surprised to see that Tony was at the controls.
“It’s been a while since we’ve had time to chat.” Ginny said. “Probably since before Steve came out of cryo.” She and her dad had spent a fair bit of time with Tony after Steve’s injury and she had gotten to know him quite well.
“I knew it was that muscle-bound bastard taking up all your time.” Tony said, jokingly. “But seriously, thanks for letting me throw you guys that little shindig on the weekend. If Pepper and I ever tie the knot, I may steal your ceremony.”
“No fair! You’ve got to write your own.” she answered into her mike with a laugh.
“Well, maybe we’ll let you write it for us, then.” he said. “Ready?”
She nodded and gripped the arms of her chair. Take-off always freaked her out a little bit.
“Okay, you can relax now.” Tony said through her headphones as he leveled off and Ginny released her death grip on the arms of her seat.
When they landed half an hour later, Steve was waiting for her…with the plans for his new quarters.
“I spoke with the engineers and they already had a plan for a larger set of quarters for the commander, so the plans and the space are already there.” Ginny could see that Steve was really excited to show her.
They started in his quarters where Steve spread the plans out on the table.
“There’s a kitchen and dining room and the kitchen will have breakfast nook. There’s two bedrooms and two bathrooms. You see this unit next to it? If we need to, we can put a door here and pull it in for a third bedroom and bathroom.
“A third bedroom?” Ginny asked with raised eyebrows.
“Who knows what will happen or how long we’ll be here. I know we’ll need two bedrooms.” Steve said, giving her a smile like a kid on Christmas morning. “Come on. I’ll show you the space.”
He almost dragged her down the hallways and around the corners until he came to the door he was looking for.
Inside was a disaster of dust and wood shavings. The kitchen had a stove and freezer-on-the-bottom fridge. The counters weren’t in yet, but the cabinets and breakfast nook were of oak. There was a modern chandelier hanging over where the dining room table would be.
There was one bedroom and a well-appointed bathroom. Steve showed Ginny where a wall would be coming down to add the second bedroom and bath.
“What did you say to get a second bedroom? Did you have to tell them about Dot?” Ginny asked.
Steve shook his head. “I just said that I’d rather have two bedrooms so we don’t have to move if we decided to have kids.”
“Oh, I still have to see Jas before we go.” Ginny said.
“Right,” Steve said, “she said she’d be waiting for you.” He took her hand and headed for the door.
“Wait!” Ginny said, pulling him back. “You’re like a hummingbird on speed today! You haven’t even kissed me yet!”
He turned to her with a seductive smile and pulled her in for a long, slow kiss. “How’s that?” he asked, pulling back to look into her eyes.
“Better.” she whispered, tilting her head up for another kiss.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so excited.” Ginny said.
“This is going to be our first home together. Of course I’m excited!” Steve said. “Aren’t you?”
She looked away from his steady blue gaze and felt anxiety wash over here. Steve pulled her closed and held her for a moment before saying, “Let’s go see Jas.”
Ginny looked up at him and nodded. She hadn’t realized just how nervous she was about these test results.
Jas was just finishing up with another patient, so Peter directed them into her office to wait.
They sat down, still holding hands, and when Jas came in, she took a few minutes to read over the test results before speaking.
“All of the cancer tests came back negative. And we also tested for the genetic disorders that we spoke about, and those all came back negative as well.” Jas said.
“What did come back positive is the early hormone pregnancy test. It’s not as accurate as the one we’re going to do today, but I think it’s a pretty good indicator in this case.”
“Are you having any morning sickness or other symptoms?” Jas asked.
“No morning sickness, but I can’t eat chicken. The last time I tried, it bounced.” Ginny said. “and the smell of it cooking really bothers me as well.”
“If that’s your only food aversion, you’re lucky. Any cravings?” she asked.
Ginny gave Steve a secret smile and he returned it. Jas saw this and smiled to herself.
“Increased sex drive is quite common as well.” she said.
Ginny smiled shyly and blushed a little bit.
“Other than that, I feel well; a little tired sometimes, but well.” Ginny said.
“Good.” Jas said. She pulled out a urine specimen bottle from her desk and wrote Ginny’s name on it and handed it to her.
“I’ll give you this. When you’re done, meet me in the examining room and we’ll see how things are progressing.”
Ginny left to find a washroom and Steve stayed with Jas.
“Everything’s really okay?” he asked.
“It all looks good so far, commander,” Jas said, “but I’d like to keep a close eye on things because we have no idea how or if your enhancement will pass on to the next generation.”
Steve had his fingers tented in front of his mouth. He lowered them and said, “She’s moving in with me here. She’ll still spend a couple days a week in the city, but she’ll be living here.”
“As things progress, I might get her to see a specialist, but I should be able to do primary care.” Jas stood up to go and meet Ginny. “It’s been a while since I’ve caught a baby. It’ll be fun!”
Steve gave her a cynical look as she smiled and left, squeezing his shoulder.
He sat for a moment alone in Jas’ office and let himself relax. He hadn’t realized how anxious he’d been over these test results. That’s probably why he’d thrown himself into the building project! Between the terror threat and this, he could see that his shoulders had been up around his ears since he left New York.
The glow started in his gut and grew to engulf his whole being. He could feel a silly grin on his face and he didn’t care. He was in love; they were having a baby, and planning their first home. He felt his heart would burst with joy.
When he heard Ginny and Jas emerge from the examining room a few minutes later, he got up to go and meet them.
Jas was going over some details with Ginny. “You should be taking pre-natal vitamins. Folic acid is the one thing most women do not get enough of and it’s vital to fetal development.” She wrote down a couple of names on a prescription pad. “They’re over the counter, so you should be able to pick them up anywhere. At about three months, we’ll schedule an ultrasound.”
Ginny shook her head. “I’d rather stay away from routine ultrasounds.” she said. “There’s still some evidence that they harm the baby’s brain. If it’s necessary, if there’s an issue, no problem. But just because that’s what’s done or to see the baby’s gender, I’d rather not.”
Jas was surprised. “I thought Canadians were all about the tests.” she said with a smile.
Ginny smiled back. “A little too much sometimes, I think. Just because it’s covered doesn’t mean it’s necessary. Let’s leave that and see how things go, okay?” She looked from Jas to Steve, who looked doubtful.
Steve thought of something and his head came up suddenly. “Can she fly?” he asked Jas.
“Of course. It’s not advisable in late pregnancy or if the pregnancy becomes dangerous, but right now, everything is fine.” Jas said. “Are you back here next week?” Ginny nodded. “I’ll have your results for you when you get back then; probably by Monday.”
Jas hugged Ginny and then Steve and said, “Congratulations, you two.” and left them to attend to her other duties.
They stood looking at each other, smiling like goons for a long moment before Steve leaned over for a quick kiss.
“Come on, mama. We’ve got to go.” He checked his watch. “The jet will be ready to leave in 45 minutes.”
So with their arms around each other, they made their way back to his quarters.
The jet was waiting for them when they arrived at the hangar and they were able to board immediately. Steve greeted the pilot, who he’d flown with before and they strapped in for the quick hop to Toronto. They had been cleared to land at Pearson International Airport.
“Is that the main airport?” Steve asked.
“Yup. It’s a little ways out of town, but I got us a rental car. We’re staying at The Old Mill, which is in the same end of the city, and that’s where the wedding reception is, too.” Ginny answered.
By the time they landed and cleared Canadian customs, it was dinner time and Ginny suggested that they eat on the airport strip at The Keg. It was a chain, but still had excellent food and a nice ambiance. She made a quick call for reservations before they drove out of the airport.
Ginny seemed to know where she was going. “I grew up in this end of town.” she said when he commented.
Over dinner, Steve asked lots of questions about Toronto and Canada and how they differed from New York and the US.
Their meal was wonderful. Steve offered to drive so Ginny could have some wine. After dinner, they drove the half hour to the Old Mill and checked in. Ginny was still too full from dinner to settle, so she suggested a walk downtown. They hopped the subway and headed to Yonge St.
They wandered up Yonge St. hand in hand and window-shopped and stopped in the odd store. They strolled through the Eaton Centre, named for the Eaton’s store that used to anchor the mall, but that didn’t exist anymore.
They came out across from the Yonge-Dundas Square, where there was a live band playing. They stopped to listen for a few minutes before heading west along Dundas to old city hall…a large, Victorian building still used as a courthouse.
Just past the old city hall was Nathan Phillips Square and the iconic new City Hall. Shaped like parenthesis around a central dome, this futuristic building was built in the 1960s and had been featured on an episode of Star Trek among other sci-fi shows.
Nathan Phillips Square was full of people hanging out, skateboarding, roller skating and mingling under the huge arches. Ginny told Steve that there was ice skating there through the winter. Some years, the rink would already be flooded by mid-November, but it was a warm fall.
From there, they wandered back over to Yonge St.; the longest street in the world, Ginny told Steve; then they turned towards the lake.
She took him down to the Harbourfront and along Queen’s Quay. From there they could see the CN Tower, all lit up.
“I hope you don’t mind. I booked us in to the 360 Restaurant Sunday night for dinner. It’s a revolving restaurant and gives you a spectacular view of the city.” Ginny said.
“We’ll be eating dinner up there?” Steve asked, pointing at the tower.
“Yup, the restaurant is at the top of the bottom pod. Below it are the observation decks. Then you can go up to the sky deck, which is the little pod above. All of our telecommunications bounce off the CN Tower in the GTA…the Greater Toronto Area.” she said, expanding the commonly used acronym.
“Why didn’t we fly into that airport?” Steve asked, pointing out to Billy Bishop airport on an island in the lake.
“No jets.” she said. “It’s been an ongoing fight, but the downtown residents are pretty powerful and they don’t want the noise and pollution of jets here. I can’t say I blame them.”
Steve liked Toronto! Somehow, it managed to have a big city vibe while still holding onto that small town feel.
They continued along the waterfront holding hands and chatting until Ginny stopped them and said, “We should probably head back. It’s about an hour back from here.”
Steve looked around and asked what was ahead. They seemed to be getting closer to the CN Tower.
“The CN Tower; Rogers Centre, where the Blue Jays play; and Ontario Place.”, she said. “And the Ex grounds. We could always take the streetcar back.” So they kept walking.
They walked along the waterfront all the way to Ontario Place, then crossed the bridge to the Exhibition grounds and found the streetcar station to catch the streetcar back to Union Station.
On the streetcar, Steve put his arm around Ginny and she laid her head on his shoulder. They were both tired and just watched the city go by out the window.
They switched to the subway at Union Station and headed back to the Old Mill. When they got to their room, they both collapsed on the bed.
Steve looked over at Ginny and said, “I like Toronto. Where are you taking me tomorrow?” he asked.
“I was thinking Kensington Market, maybe Chinatown.” she said. “I hadn’t really thought beyond that.”
“That sounds like a full day, if we don’t get up too early.” he said, suggestively.
“Would you rather lay in bed late tomorrow or stay up late tonight?” Ginny asked.
“Both.” he said, rolling over towards her and kissing her.
Ginny deepened the kiss and pulled him further over on top of her.
It was a sweet way to end their day, slowly arousing each other before coming together with earth-shattering intensity.
They lay still together for a long time before either of them could talk.
Ginny didn’t open her eyes, but kissed Steve’s shoulder, which was all she could reach with her lips.
“If I didn’t know better,” she whispered, “I’d say the sex is getting better.”
“I’m learning as I go.” Steve said, pushing up a little bit to kiss her. “Glad to hear you’re appreciating it.”
“I said right from the beginning that you’re the best lover I’ve ever had. If you get too good, I’ll have to go take classes to keep up!” she said with a smile.
“You keep up fine. I’m certainly never left wanting.” Steve kissed the tip of her nose and she giggled.
Steve smiled and said, “How did I get so lucky?” he said, huskily.
“I don’t know.” she said, stroking his cheek. “but I’m sure glad you did.”
He kissed her nose again, then her cheek, then proceeded to plant quick little kisses all over her face as she pushed at him, giggling. In the end, he was laughing, too, as she managed to push him over and do the same to him.
She laid her head on his chest and he wrapped his arms around her, stroking and caressing her back. She was getting chilled, so he pulled the duvet up over her shoulders.
“Sleep time?” he asked, quietly.
“I think so.” she answered. “Long day, long walk, great sex…sleep would finish today off perfectly.” Ginny got up to use the washroom before cuddling in next to Steve and settling for sleep.
“Can I ask you something?” Steve said, quietly.
“Mmmhmm.” she answered drowsily.
“You always seem to get up and go to the washroom after we make love. Why?” he asked.
“Prevents urinary tract infections.” she answered. “My doctor told me to do that when I was in my teens. Why? Does it bother you?”
“No. It just seemed odd. Now it doesn’t.” he said. He thought for a second. “Is it just a concern for girls or should I be thinking about it, too?”
“I don’t think it’s a concern for guys, just girls.” she said.
Steve lay with his arms around her and tried not to think of her sick. He knew that there were lots of different antibiotics available to deal with infections now, but he grew up in a time when there weren’t and a minor infection could mean death. He was glad she took good care of herself.
Suddenly, he loved her even more! How could such a small revelation make such a difference to him? He tightened his hold on her for a second and said, “I love you.”
She laughed. “Because I go pee after sex?” she asked.
“Yes,” he said, “because you go pee after sex.” he laughed, too, to cover his emotions.
She shook her head against his shoulder. “You are one strange bird, Steve Rogers, but I love you, too.” She squeezed him tight and then relaxed and let herself start to drift off to sleep.
Steve lay awake for a long time just savouring the warmth of her body pressed against his, her little stirrings and twitches as she dreamed. He was a very lucky man. And with that thought still in his mind, he drifted off to sleep as well.
Ginny opened one eye to see that the bedside clock said 9:06. Steve was still sleeping soundly beside her. She was definitely a bad influence on Mr. 06 hundred! He seemed to sleep in pretty regularly these days, at least when they were together.
But she had to go to the bathroom. She knew Dot was still tiny, but Ginny could swear she was growing directly on her bladder!
When she came back, Steve was watching her. He gathered her into his arms as she crawled back under the duvet.
“Sorry I woke you.” she whispered. “Dot seems to be sitting on my bladder these days.”
“It’s okay.” he said, quietly. “It’s 9 o’clock. I should have been awake hours ago. You ARE a bad influence on me.”
“Shall I leave, then?” she asked, making to pull away.
“No.” he said, quickly, pulling her back. “Don’t you dare!”
“So, Captain,” Ginny said, formally, “what is your pleasure this morning?”
He thought for a second. “It’s too cold out there… Canadian winters, you know.” Ginny giggled at this. “So right here is fine for now. But I think I want a bath.” he said. “There’s something I want to try.”
Ginny smiled. Experimental Steve was always exciting!
They lay in bed for a while longer, keeping warm and talking quietly before getting up and heading for the big Jacuzzi tub. She’d made sure that their room had one as well when she booked it.
Steve started filling up the tub with steaming water. Ginny was watching him closely. He looked up at her and smiled.
“I figured if we’re joined before we get underwater, there’s lots we can do without moving too much…” his voice trailed off.
Ginny cocked an eyebrow at him and smiled. “This sounds delightful!”
Steve threw his bathrobe across the toilet and got into the tub. The water wasn’t even half way up his legs. Ginny’s robe joined his and she got into the tub, too. She splashed water between their legs to make sure there was no friction.
Then, facing away from him, she sank down on him. Steve gasped as her warmth envloped him. Ginny raised herself up and sank down on him a couple of times just to settle into a comfortable position. Then she leaned back against him. He wrapped his arms around her to keep her warm until the water could do that.
The feel of the water slowly rising up their bodies was causing chills. Ginny moved a little bit and moaned.
“You okay?” Steve asked.
“This is going to be really intense.” she said. “I feel totally exposed, like a raw nerve. Go carefully, okay?”
He bent his head to kiss her neck. “Just say stop if it’s too much.” he said.
Once the water reached their shoulders, Steve turned off the water and turned on the jets and started to tease Ginny’s nipples. She moaned and arched her back and he could feel everything he did to her on the inside, too.
He stopped and rested his hands on her body to try to slow things down a little bit, but even the foaming water on their sensitive skin was intensifying the experience.
He reached one hand between Ginny’s legs and moved his fingers against her. Her response was immediate and he could feel her climaxing in shuddering cascades around him. Ginny was holding onto the sides of the tub with both hands, trying to control the pleasure. She had lifted up a little bit and as she sunk back down. Steve felt himself let go. He had one arm around her body and was holding the side of the tube with the other. He was hypersensitive and even Ginny’s small movements were overstimulating.
They held on like that for a few minutes, but Ginny felt herself quickening again. The pressure of him inside of her was enough to keep her aroused. And she could feel that Steve hadn’t lost any stiffness.
“Good?” Steve asked, breathlessly.
“You have to ask?” she responded just as breathless.
He chuckled. “Again?” he breathed into her ear as he raised one hand up to cup her breast.
She arched her back, letting the movement fuel her growing arousal. “Yes, please.” she whispered.
This time, he was ready to feel the echo of everything he did to her around him, but it didn’t matter. It didn’t help either of them to last any longer. They sat for a long time afterwards trying to get their bearings and holding each other.
“Why?” Steve finally asked. “We’re not even moving. Why is this so intense?”
Ginny had turned in his lap, not ready to let their connection go, but needing his arms around her.
Ginny was still shaky and let Steve hold her for a few minutes while she thought about his question.
“For me, it’s putting pressure on the G-spot. It’s illusive, but it’s definitely on the front wall of the vagina.” she said, quietly. “What did you feel?”
“I felt everything I did to you…everything echoed below.” he said, not exactly sure how to describe it. He took her hand in his. “You’re still shaking.” He kissed her hand and then reached over to pull the plug and add some more hot water.
Once the water was nice and toasty again. Steve said, “I think we’re done, aren’t we?”
“I think so.” Ginny said, holding up her hand to show Steve she was still shaking.
“Yeah, we’re done.” Steve said as he shifted her off of him and settled her back in his arms.
They were quiet for a long time, just letting the bubbling water sooth them.
When the water started to cool down a bit, Ginny hopped out for a quick shower and Steve went in after her.
Clean and warmly wrapped in their robes, they cuddled together on the couch, deciding what to do first.
There were a couple of good breakfast places in the area, so they got dressed and headed out to get food.
Once they were seated and had ordered, they both fell quiet. Steve reached across and took her hands.
“Tonight’s the rehearsal dinner.” Ginny said, just remembering that she hadn’t told him. “I know we’re not in the wedding party, but Sylvie wanted me there.”
“Where is it?” Steve asked.
“Sylvie’s parent’s place, in Etobicoke; not too far from here.” she said. “The church is near there, too.”
“So this is a church wedding? Catholic?” Steve asked.
“Yeah, I knew Sylvie long before I became pagan and she had no interest.” Ginny said. “I have to say I rather envy her, staying Catholic would have made my life a lot easier.”
“But you’re not one to for easy.” Steve pointed out.
“Oh, come on! I go for easy. I went for you, didn’t I? You were easy.” she said, teasing him.
“Me? Easy? I don’t think so. An amputee;” he lowered his voice to a whisper, “a virgin;” and raised it to a normal level to continue, “a man out of his time; a super soldier always putting himself in danger…I wouldn’t say that’s easy.” Their breakfast came and they started eating.
“But there are lots of perks that offset all of that nicely.” she said, using a slice of bacon for emphasis. “You’re eager to learn, which has led to some really outstanding…moments.” she said, delicately. “You know that ‘amputee’ doesn’t even faze me. Most of the time, you being from another time makes you seem more Canadian. And my super soldier boy leads a great team who always have his back. And he adores me, which makes me kinda smug when every woman in the restaurant is undressing him with their eyes.” Steve looked around surreptitiously and saw that she was right.
“I’m glad you went for easy, then.” he said, with a smile. “You were an easy fit, too. When I came out of cryo, one of my first thoughts was how is any woman going to love me now. Then you floated in and didn’t even cringe or pull away at the sight of my stump. I think it was that more than anything that made me fall for you.” He paused for a second. “That, and when you didn’t help me up off the floor after yoga.” He smiled at the memory. “That’s first time I’d not felt crippled since coming out of cryo.”
Ginny smiled at him. “I never saw you as crippled.” she said, softly.
“Which is amazing when everyone else you meet does.” he said. “Even my friends took a while to accept that I hadn’t changed.”
Ginny smiled at this and then noticed a little boy holding a shield standing near Steve’s elbow. “You have company.” she said, looking back up at Steve.
Steve turned to see what she was looking at and said, “Well, hey, little buddy.”
“Are you Captain America?” the boy said, with awed adoration in his voice.
“Well, yes, I am.” Steve said.
The little boy held his shield up and said, “Me, too!”
Just then a man came up behind the boy and said, “I hope Zach isn’t bothering you. He recognized you from across the room and had to come over.”
Steve was standing to greet the newcomer and was startled to hear Ginny say, “Aaron? Wow, is that you?”
Aaron looked down at the girl with Captain Rogers for the first time and said, “Ginny? Ginny St. Pierre? What are you doing here? I thought you were in New York!” Aaron said. Ginny stood up, too, and was wrapped in a warm, friendly hug.
Steve and Zach shared a look of surprise.
“Steve, Aaron lost his leg in Afghanistan and I worked with him when he came back. And this is Zach? Gods, he was just a babe in arms last time I saw him!” Ginny was just glowing to see her old friend.
“Why don’t you two join us?” Steve offered.
“Yes, please.” Ginny said. “Where’s Amy?”
“Thank you.” Aaron said, pulling a chair over from another table. Zach had decided that Steve’s lap was his seat. “Amy works on Fridays and I’m off, so Zach and I usually come down for brunch.”
“Hey, what happened to that daredevil boyfriend you had?” Aaron asked.
“He finally killed himself.” she said, matter-of-factly. “We had broken up a few months before, so he didn’t take me with him, but his best friend wasn’t so lucky.”
“And how did you end up hanging with Cap here?” Aaron asked, nodding at Steve, who was deep in conversation with Zach about the advantages of using a shield.
“Same way I met you.” she said. “He lost his leg in an attack and the Avengers called in the best!” she said, immodestly.
Then she smiled. “The best being my dad, but we came as a package deal.”
“Did she make you learn to dance,” Aaron asked Steve, “and do yoga?”
Steve smiled and nodded.
“When are you going to stop torturing us guys with that shit?” Aaron said, jokingly.
“As I recall, Amy truly appreciated the fact that you could do more than the boyfriend shuffle and don’t tell me that yoga doesn’t help you. Do you still do it?” she asked.
“You’re right. And yes, I do still do yoga. Amy and I do it together a couple nights a week.” Aaron said.
The waitress came over with paper and crayons for Zach, and to take Aaron and Zach’s orders.
Zach started drawing all of the Avengers starting with Steve, and Steve doodled in the corner. His doodle quickly turned into Zach in full costume fighting alongside the Avengers. His shield was like Steve’s with a thunderbolt through it.
“Who’s that?” Zach asked.
“That’s you! Captain Zach.” Steve said.
Zach looked at the picture for a second, then just said, “Cool.” and carried on drawing Thor.
Ginny was watching the boys draw, so she was surprised when Aaron said, “So what’s this then?” He had picked up her left hand and was looking at her engagement ring. “Did someone finally ask?”
Steve looked up and said, “Yup.” and held up his left hand.
Aaron clapped Steve on the back. “You lucky bugger.” he said. “And not too soon, either. Didn’t you used to say 30 was your cut-off?”
“And I’m thirty, so Steve didn’t have a choice.” she said, with a wink at Steve.
“So when’s the big day?” Aaron asked. “Are you coming home or staying in the states?”
“No date yet, but probably next fall. And undecided on where to live. Right now, in the states, but that could change.” She looked up at Steve for confirmation and he nodded. He and Zach were almost done their picture. Steve had done a great sketch of Nat and Clint helping Zach fight a Chitari.
“Hey, you’re really good!” Aaron said. “Almost as good as Zach.”
Aaron might have been joking, but Zach actually was quite good. You could clearly see who he was drawing. Most kids his age were still doing stick figures.
“I was a freelance artist back in the day. It’s how I made a living.” Steve said. He looked at Ginny. He’d never told her that before. He wasn’t sure why. It had just never come up.
Zach looked up at Steve and then turned back to his work. “I’m going to be an artist, too.’ he said. “An artist and a soldier.” Both Steve and Aaron frowned at this.
“Just be an artist, little guy. Me and your dad will keep you safe.” Steve said as he was signing his name to his corner of the picture. “Keep this. It may be worth something someday.” he said.
Zach looked at Steve’s signature and signed his name as well. He smiled back at Steve.
The waitress brought over their order then and help them pull up a chair with a booster seat for Zach. Once his pancakes were in front of him, Zach forgot everything else and ate with gusto.
“How’d you lose your leg, Aaron?” Steve asked.
“Damned IED. We were driving along and were almost back inside when it went off. Two of my buddies didn’t make it and the other 3 all lost bits.” He was quiet for a minute. “If we hadn’t been so close, I’d have bled out and died over there, too.” Aaron looked up at Steve with a wry smile. “How about you?”
“Targeted attack with nanotechnology. The bullets hit my leg and then scattered throughout my body, killing me faster than my body could repair itself.” Steve got quiet for a second. “They had to put me in cryo to slow things down enough to get them all out of me. I was asleep for a week and came out without my leg.”
“What colour was this…” Aaron said touching Ginny’s bangs, familiarly, “when you met her?”
“Purple.” Steve said with a smile.
“Lime green.” Aaron said.
Ginny smiled. “I was into bright neon colours back then.” she said.
Aaron and Steve got to talking about soldiering and Ginny realized that not much had changed in 70 years for these guys.
When the waitress came with their bills. Steve asked for a marker to sign Zach’s shield. Zach wanted him to draw the ‘Z’ across the front like in the pictures, so Steve did.
He signed the back, ‘To Captain Zach. Steve Rogers – Captain America’
“Did you hear that we lost one of our boys in Syria?” Aaron asked.
“No. Damn. It never ends.” Ginny said, angrily. “When’s he coming home?”
“Monday.” Aaron said. “ I know you used to go. Will you still be here on Monday?”
“I don’t know.” Ginny said. Steve was watching them with a puzzled look on his face.
“What’s on Monday?” he asked. “Go to what?” He knew that the US flew their casualties in at night with no hoopla. He thought Canada did the same.
“It’s a…thing…we do here, when one of our fallen soldiers comes home.” Aaron said.
“When they repatriate the body, it’s flown into Trenton, which is the main air force base in southern Ontario.” Ginny explained. “There’s a repatriation ceremony there when the body lands and then there’s a motorcade that takes it to the Centre for Forensic Science in Toronto. From there, it’s released to the family.”
“During the Afghan war, with so many of our soldiers being killed, people got to know the schedules of the motorcades and the information was shared on the internet, and people started to show up on the overpasses as the motorcade went by to pay their respects. This made the news and then more people started showing up.”
Ginny turned to Aaron. “Did they rename the highway during the war?” she asked.
“I think so.” he said.
She turned back to Steve. “They renamed that section of the 401 – the Highway of Heroes. Even though we’re not at war anymore, anytime a Canadian soldier is killed in action, people still line the overpasses to pay their respects. It’s really something to be part of.”
“Sounds like it.” Steve said. “What time on Monday?”
“It’s usually mid-afternoon, but I can send you the link.” Aaron offered.
“If I don’t get called back, we should be here.” Steve said. “I’d like to see that. It sounds much different than what happens in the states.”
“Ah, well. The US is a different kettle of fish, for sure.” Aaron said. “We should go and leave you to your day.”
Aaron got up and picked up Zach and his shield. But Zach struggled to get down. He wanted to give Steve a hug.
Hugs given and shield and drawing tucked away, Aaron and Zach headed for the door.
“That was nice.” Ginny said. “See, the problem with coming home is that I know too many people here!”
Steve laughed. “It’s okay. You seem to know lots of really nice people.”
They were quiet for a moment. “You never told me you were an artist.” Ginny said, quietly. “Bucky told me when he brought the picture.”
“I’m sorry.” he said. “It just never came up. I thought you would have known that. It’s not in my file?”
She shook her head.
“Sometimes I feel like it doesn’t fit with who I am now. I guess I tend to hide it, keep it private. There’s not much left of who I was…” His voice trailed off.
“It’s okay. It just reminded me how short a time we’ve actually known each other. I’m sure that’s not going to be the last surprise.” Ginny said.
“The picture was beautiful, by the way. I don’t think I ever told you that.” she said.
“When we first met, I did a lot of sketches of you…studies. They all came together in that drawing.” Steve said. “I’ll show you my sketchbook when we get back…if you’d like.”
“I would like that.” she said, with a shy smile. “Sometime I wish I could draw, but my love has always been music, so I never really explored art.”
Steve smiled. “I have some nice sketches of you at the piano. You always look so natural there.” he said.
Once they paid the bill, they wandered along Bloor St., checking out all the little shops. Then they went down into Etienne Brulé Park. The park was along a branch of the Humber River and there was all kinds of wildlife around. An egret stood on a rock in the middle of the water. Ginny could see that Steve was wishing he had something to draw with.
While Steve had been looking at something else in the little art shop they’d found on Bloor, Ginny had bought a sketchbook and artist’s pencils. She reached into their shopping bag and pulled these out.
Steve laughed. “When did you buy these?” he asked.
“You were talking to that other artist in the frame section.” she said.
He took the pad and opened it. “You don’t mind?” he asked.
She smiled at him, indulgently. “How many times have I tortured you with my piano playing?” she said.
“That’s not what I’d call torture.” he said, pulling out his pocket knife to sharpen one of the pencils. Then he started to draw.
Ginny watched him for a moment and then turned her attention to the people walking, skating, running, and biking by. She loved to people-watch and it was a beautiful day, so there were lots of people out.
Steve was doing quick sketches of what he saw: the egret in the river, people going by, their hotel up on the hill. Then he turned to sketch his favourite subject.
“Why so sad?” he asked, after a few minutes of sketching her.
She turned to him, surprised and said, “I’m not sad.”
“You look sad.” Steve said, showing her the sketch. She smiled at how good a likeness it was of her with so few lines.
She sighed. “I guess I’m just thinking about that soldier Aaron was talking about.” she said. “It always seems so senseless. What are we even fighting for?”
“Freedom.” Steve said. “That’s about the only thing worth fighting for.”
Ginny shook her head. “But whose freedom? There just seem to be so many different layers and different sides to the story. I don’t know who to believe anymore.”
“Things certainly aren’t as simple as they seemed in World War II,” Steve agreed, “but even that ended up being much different than what the public knew. I don’t think most people had any idea that Hydra was the real enemy, the one we didn’t defeat.”
“So we send our sons and daughters to kill their sons and daughters and a lot of families are left grieving.” Ginny paused for a moment. “And nothing changes. The next year, the next decade, the next century, we do it all over again. There has to be a better way.”
They were both quiet for a long time. Steve did a few more sketches.
“I think Canada is on the right track with its peacekeeping force, rather than a fighting force.” Steve said, finally. “That’s a major shift in thinking from the US. A lot of Americans don’t get it. But I’ve seen the horrors of war and if I never have to again, that would be fine with me.”
Ginny looked at him and smiled. “I’ve heard some of your horrors. I hope Dot doesn’t bring back any others.” she said.
He hadn’t thought about that. “Me, too.” he said. “I will try not to be so stoic about it this time if it does happen.”
“Well, you barely knew me last time.” Ginny said.
“But already I trusted you.” he said. He remembered how her touch has made him feel safe in the midst of the chaos in his mind.
Ginny fell quiet for a moment. “I really was worried about you then.” she said. “I could see how vulnerable you were and the fact that you wouldn’t get any help with that concerned me.”
“I felt like I was in good hands.” Steve said, closing his sketchbook. He could chat and draw, but this was turning into a much more serious conversation.
“When you said you couldn’t help me through after the breakdown, that scared the shit out of me. I hadn’t realized how serious it was until then. I think I would have done anything you asked me to right then.” he said, with a little smile.
“Wow! I wish I would have known that then.” Ginny joked.
Steve chuckled. “Oh, I think you did.” he said. “You were just too nice to take advantage of the situation.”
“Damn.” she said. “Sometimes it sucks being nice.” Steve laughed out loud before he could stop himself. He put his arm along the back of the bench behind her and pulled her close.
“And what would you have made me do then that I haven’t done for you since.” he asked. “I’d still do just about anything you’d ask of me.”
She sighed and laid her head on his shoulder. “I know. That’s why I try not to ask too much.”
Steve leaned over and kissed her forehead. “I love you.” he whispered.
“I love you, too,” she said, “which is why I don’t want to take advantage of you. I’ve seen relationships like that and it never ends well.”
“Don’t worry. I’m not that big a push-over, even for you.” Steve said. “You just haven’t pushed the limit yet.”
“Good.” she said. “Then I’ll try not to.”
“How do you know what my limits are? I don’t even know.” he said.
“I guess we’ll learn that together, too, just like everything else.” Ginny said and turned to kiss him. “Come on. Let’s walk.”
They wandered through the rest of the park hand-in-hand, chatting and pointing out wildlife. Steve stopped a couple of times to do quick sketches.
“Do you just draw or do you paint, too?” Ginny asked, watching him capture, in a few quick lines, a turtle perched on a rock.
“I do paint. I did mostly posters and such and a little bit of courtroom stuff. I never really got back into painting once I was here.” Steve said, absently, putting the final background touches on his sketch and standing up.
“Maybe if I ever stop being so busy saving the world…” he said, with a self-deprecating smile.
Ginny tiptoed to kiss him quickly on the lips, then checked her watch.
“Wow, it’s getting late.” she said.
Steve looked at his own watch and then back at her in puzzlement. It wasn’t even 1 o’clock yet.
“By the time we wander out of the park, browse the shops again, we’ll barely have time to make love again before we’ll have to shower and go to the rehearsal dinner!”
Steve laughed and shook his head. “Maybe we could skip some of the shops.” he suggested.
“We might have to.” she said, with a wink at him. “I don’t like to be rushed.” she finished in a whisper.
As it was they did take their time getting back to the hotel, but still had plenty of time to make love before going to Sylvie’s parents.
It was 4:30 when they showed up at the Charron house and Sylvie’s parents greeted her like a long-lost daughter. She and Steve were sat down at the kitchen table and their engagement toasted. Then Steve was in the hot-seat as they questioned him closely. When Mr. Charron heard that he was from the 40s, he was overjoyed. He was a big WWII buff and he and Steve talked easily about a time they both seemed to know well.
Sylvie and Doug showed up a half an hour later and rescued them. Doug took Steve off to introduce his groomsmen and Sylvie and Ginny helped Mrs. Charron get dinner finished and served.
It wasn’t going to be a huge group by French-Canadian standards, but they were still expecting over 25 people. The living room had been turned into a second dining area with all of the furniture moved back.
Once the dinner preparation was well underway, Sylvie stole Ginny away to see her wedding gown. It was a gigantic, poofy gown with a long veil and train…all the bells and whistles! Ginny had expected no less from Sylvie, who was always the traditionalist. But even though it was far from what Ginny would have chosen, she oohed and aahed appropriately.
By the time they went back downstairs, the house was full and they were pulled back into the kitchen to put finishing touches on the buffet. When people started to fill up their plates, Ginny went in search of Steve.
She found him in the basement with Doug and Mr. Charron looking over WWII memorabilia that Mr. Charron had collected. Steve had such a wistful look on his face.
When he saw her come in, Steve beckoned her over. He shifted through some of the paper on the desk and came up with a poster for an off-Broadway theatre production which he held out proudly to her.
“This is one of mine.” he said. “See here.” he pointed to the border along the right side. “I always put my initials in the border and here they are.” Ginny could just see the tiny ‘SR’ in the pattern of the border.
The poster was for a production of ‘The Glass Menagerie’, and the picture was of Laura Wingfield amongst her glass animals, looking terrified and wistful and seductive all at once.
“This is gorgeous, Steve.” Ginny said, taking in all the little details. “You’ve captured her perfectly.”
“’Glass Menagerie’ was always a favourite of mine.” Steve said.
Mr. Charron came over with a cardboard folder for it. “You can get it home in this.” he said. “Consider it an early wedding present.” He would not listen to their protests, but slid it into the sleeve and handed it to Steve.
“Thank you, Mr. Charron.” Steve said, holding out his hand to shake his benefactor’s. “We’ll treasure it.”
Ginny cut in to let the boys know that dinner was served and they all headed upstairs.
The line-up was already dying down by the time they got upstairs, so they didn’t have to wait long to fill their plates.
Sylvie had made sure they had a place in the dining room between her and Doug and her parents.
Sylvie started telling them about the hand-fasting ceremony the week before and there were lots of questions.
“But you’ll be married in the church, surely.” Mrs. Charron said.
“I don’t know, madam.” Ginny said. “I don’t know if they would marry us, even if we wanted to, which we don’t know yet.”
“I’d be happy to do something similar to the hand-fasting.” Steve put in. “I haven’t considered myself Catholic for a while.”
Ginny looked up at Steve with a look of adoration in her eyes. They hadn’t discussed the wedding and here he was supporting what he knew would be her preference.
“The hand-fasting was really nice.” Doug put in. “Not what I had expected at all. Very personal and inspiring.”
“And our wedding isn’t?” Sylvie said, huffily.
“Yes, it is, dearest, but we’ve had to fight for that.” Doug said, kissing her hand.
“It’s true.” Sylvie said. “We’ve got a rather old-fashioned priest and we’ve had to fight for everything we wanted to change. But you’ll see tonight.” She checked her watch. “We should start moving or we’ll never get everyone there on time.”
“Steve and I can stay behind and clean up.” Ginny offered.
“Nonsense!” Mrs. Charron said. “This is why I have a dishwasher.”
So they were all shuffled into cars and given directions to the church. Ginny and Steve offered to drive Sylvie’s little brother, Marc, and his girlfriend, Claire.
Ginny chatted and caught up with Marc, who was five years younger than his sister. Ginny had never really paid him much mind, except when he chose to annoy his sister, which was often enough.
The church was only about three minutes away; they probably could have walked, but the girls wanted to wear their heels for the rehearsal.
Our Lady of Sorrow was a quaint little stone church with a beautifully painted, vaulted ceiling over the altar. The priest was an older gentleman, who Ginny could see had very set ideas about how things should be.
Ginny hadn’t realized that Sylvie had a part for her and Steve in the ceremony. They were going to bring up the bread and wine before communion.
“You sure about this?” Ginny asked.
“Just don’t turn the wine into vinegar or anything else to freak the padre out.” Sylvie said, under her breath.
The rehearsal ran smoothly and Ginny and Steve knew where they have to be and when.
“Why didn’t we do a rehearsal?” Steve asked under his breath.
“We were busy the night before our hand-fasting.” she whispered, seductively.
Steve smiled and squeezed her hand.
Back at the house, Mr. Charron offered drinks and they all sat around the dining room table and talked. The bridesmaids and groomsmen had all gone home leaving only family and Ginny and Steve. Ginny hadn’t noticed it before, but Sylvie and her mom and Claire were doting on Steve and pretty much ignoring the other men in the room!
Ginny begged off due to tiredness soon enough, she hoped, not to cause any relationship issues!
“Are you really tired or were you just rescuing me?” Steve asked on the way to their rental car.
“A little of both.” Ginny answered, squeezing his hand. He unlocked the car and opened her door for her.
“You know,” she said, once he was in the car with her. “it’s that kind of old fashioned charm that makes all the girls swoon.”
He smiled at her. “I can’t change who I am.” he said, and started the car.
“You’d better not. It makes me swoon, too!” she said.
“You don’t seem like the swooning type.” Steve said. “Which way back to the hotel?” he asked.
She directed him back to Bloor and from there he knew his way.
“I can be made to swoon.” she said. “I used to swoon over Thor a little bit until I met you. I was too busy working with you to swoon over you, but you did make my heart beat a little faster when you turned that smile on me.”
Steve chuckled. “Anyone else I should be worried about?” he asked.
“Hmmm…” she said, thinking. “It’s really hard to be impressed by anyone else when I’m sleeping with Captain America.”
“But there is one guy who does impress me…Justin Trudeau.” she said.
“The Prime Minister?” he asked.
“Yeah…he’s pretty cute and he’s really been impressive so far in parliament and he’s a big geek, going to Comiccon and dressing as Han Solo for Hallowe’en. If he wasn’t married, you might have competition there.” she admitted.
“My girl has a crush on the Prime Minister.” Steve said shaking his head.
“What can I say…superheroes and heads of state. If you’re going to aim high, you might as well go for the top.” she smiled at him. “But it’s the superhero I love.”
Steve was just pulling into the parking so they parked and headed for their room.
Steve pulled out the iron to touch up his suit and iron his shirt for the next day. He offered to iron Ginny’s dress, too.
“It’s not really the kind of material that you iron. It’s got Lycra in it and Lycra hates heat.” She pulled her dress out of the closet to look at it.
It was red with a panel skirt that showed different shades of red to orange when it moved. When she tried it on in the store, she had looked like a living flame as she moved, which appealed to her. It was sleeveless and she had picked up a beautiful black shrug to keep her arms warm. It had ¾ length sleeves and floated down her back just past her waist.
She was holding the dress up in front of her when she felt Steve’s hands on her shoulders. “Very pretty.” he said. “I’ll feel like I’m dancing with fire.”
She smiled. “Don’t you always feel like that?”
“Yes.” he said and bent to kiss her neck where it met her shoulder.
She tilted her head away to give him better access and he ran his lips and teeth up her neck to her ear, leaving her breathless with desire when he went to finish his ironing.
“Why don’t you put on something skimpy and I’ll be with you in 10 minutes.” he said.
“How did you know I bought something new for this weekend?” she asked.
Steve looked up at her with a little smile and said, “I didn’t.” He raised one eyebrow.
She cocked her eyebrow back at him and went to her suitcase to grab a bag which looked a little big to Steve to hold something skimpy, but he held his peace and waited impatiently for her to emerge from the bathroom.
He finished touching up his pants and hung them in the closet and turned around to see Ginny leaning seductively against the bathroom doorframe.
His eyes took her in from head to toe. She had messed her hair up so it stood on end and her bangs, dyed red for the wedding, fell over one eye. She was wearing the black, see-through robe over a red corset with black trim The corset came to just under her breasts with half shells to push them up, but not cover them.
There were garters along the bottom holding up black stockings. On her feet were a pair of black mules with sky-high heels!
She had put on red lipstick and now she licked her lips slowly. Steve smiled. He liked this game!
She put one hand on her hip and glided towards him, holding his eyes. She put both arms around his neck, still holding his eyes.
“Wow! You’re almost as tall as I am.” Steve said in a husky voice, running his hands along the smooth satin of the corset.
“Just wanted to see what the air up here was like, soldier.” She pulled his head down for a kiss, which seemed to go on forever.
Ginny let her arms drop from around Steve’s neck but didn’t end the kiss. She slid them down over his shoulders and down his sides to his belt, which she started to work loose.
Between them, it wasn’t long before Steve was standing naked before her.
She stood back to admire him. “Wow!” she said, shaking her head. “You take my breath away.” She put her hands on his hips to pull him close and did to him what he had done to her; kissing and nibbling up his neck to his ear.
He had his hands on her hips, too, and pulled her tight against him, pressing himself against the smooth satin.
By the time she was done, they were both panting with desire and she pulled away, and taking his hand, led him over to the bed and gave him a push backwards. He lay sprawled on the bed watching her.
She kicked off the heels and let the robe drop off of her shoulders to the floor, then started to crawl up his body.
She ran her tongue up the full length of him and then took him deep into her throat. She stroked a couple times while he watched her with burning eyes.
But this wasn’t her goal. She continued to crawl towards the head of the bed until she was in position to take him inside of her.
He put his hands on her hips and flexed his hips to settle himself comfortably inside. Then he ran his hands up her satin clad sides to her breasts.
“None of this had to come off?” he asked, teasing her nipples.
“Nope.” she said, breathlessly. “I know you like the feel of satin.” She gave a low moan and leaned forward so that he could suck on her nipples. As she pulled off of him a little, he flexed his hips and moaned, too. He was glad he had left his leg on!
She slid down so she could kiss him and he started to move slowly, teasing her. He moved his hands up to her breasts again.
It didn’t take long before she was so breathless, she couldn’t kiss him anymore. She rested her forehead on his chest and tried to get control. She was gripping his sides almost painfully.
Steve moved his hands down to her hips and pushed her down on him, so he was as deep as he could go.
She moaned and flexed her hips, tightening herself around him.
He gritted his teeth trying to hold back, but that move was his undoing. He lifted her enough to be able to thrust into her and growled as he let himself go deep inside her.
Her moans had become louder as she gripped him tighter and dissolved in an earth-shaking climax around him.
They lay like that for a long time. Finally, Ginny let her body relax and lay down with her ear over his heart. He wrapped his arms around her, stroking the smooth satin of her corset and up to the bare skin of her shoulders that was chilled.
“I do like the feel of satin, but I love the feel of your skin.” Steve said drowsily.
She turned her head and pressed her lips against his chest. “Bare skin is nice.” she murmured. Then she pulled her arms in under her so Steve could keep her warm.
“Here,” he said, flipping them over so he was on top of her, “I can keep you warmer this way.” He flexed his hips to keep himself inside of her and she arched her back to take him deeper. If he had been losing firmness before, he wasn’t anymore.
He kissed her and she drew him in deeper, letting her tongue dance along his lips and tongue.
Steve pulled back to look at her and stroked her hair back from her face.
“Have you always been insatiable or is it just with me?” he asked.
“I’ve always enjoyed sex.” she said, tracing his lower lip with her finger. “But I’ve never been with anyone who seemed to enjoy it as much as I do.”
“So, is it a myth that girls don’t enjoy sex, or are you the exception?” he asked.
“I don’t know.” she said, and drew his head down for a long, passionate kiss.
When she pulled back again to look at him, she was breathless. “I think if a man makes sure his partner’s needs are met, she will enjoy making love to him. If he only takes care of his own needs, she won’t.”
“But the same is true the other way around, right?” Steve said, leaning to one side so he could tease her nipple.
“Mmmm…” she moaned in appreciation. “I think if a woman isn’t enjoying sex, her man gets to the point where it’s not worth it to try.”
Steve chuckled. “Not worth it to try? I can’t even imagine that.”
Ginny had been moving under him, flexing her hips, arching her back. Now she stopped and just lay still. Steve looked at her, concerned.
“If I turned you down all the time, and when I did say yes, just laid here and let you fuck me, would you be as into sex?” she asked.
He thrust into her still, limp body a couple of times. He could see her biting her lips to stay still, so he knew she was enjoying it.
“Some women are like this?” he asked.
“Apparently.” she said through gritted teeth.
Enough of this, he thought and pulled back and thrust into her hard and fast. She stayed still but grunted at the force of it. He smiled down at her. A show of wills, is it? he thought.
He pulled back and started to do slow, shallow thrusts until she grabbed his shoulders, trying to stay in control. But her head was back and her eyes closed and he could feel her tightening around him. He pushed in deep and stopped.
Her reaction was immediate. She arched away from him, forcing him out a little bit, then she cried out, “Please! Oh, gods, please don’t stop!”
He would have laughed if her plea hadn’t gone straight to his groin. He pushed himself up and thrust himself home, feeling her clench around him as she dug her nails into his shoulders. He barely felt the gush of juices wash over him as he climaxed deep inside her.
It took a minute before Ginny could form words. “Obviously,” she said, breathlessly, “I’m not one of those women.”
Steve started to laugh and it was contagious. Eventually, he gave up and rolled off of her, still laughing.
“That was the understatement of the year!” Steve said, still not able to keep a straight face. That caused Ginny to giggle even harder.
“Oh, gods…my stomach hurts!” she said, doubling up to hold onto her stomach.
Steve sat up to take off his leg, then lay back down beside her. She had stopped giggling and cuddled in next to him with her arm across his chest.
He pressed his lips against the top of her head and said, “I love you.”
“Why? Because I laugh so hard, I push you out or because I don’t make love like a corpse.” she asked.
“Both.” he said. “And because you make me laugh when I’m too serious, and you take my breath away with your skimpy outfits. Speaking of which, can I help you get out of this one?”
She sat up so he could unfasten the hooks up the back. She undid the garters and pushed the stockings off before snuggling back against his warm body.
“I love you, too, Steve. Just because.” she said, and pressed her lips to his chest before settling her head on his shoulder.
They were quiet for a while.
“I’ve never met anyone like you.” Steve said, finally.
“Good thing,” Ginny said, drowsily, “’cause you’d have probably fallen in love with her and I’d still be looking.”
Steve chuckled. “Good point.” he said.
“Peggy was close, but where she was controlled and subdued, you’re vibrant and outgoing and vivacious.” He paused for a moment. “You do take my breath away.”
They had pulled the duvet over them and lay cozily in their warm little nest. Ginny was drifting on the edge of sleep. She smiled to herself and squeezed in closer to Steve.
“The feeling’s mutual, love. Some days I can’t believe that you love me.” Ginny said, and then yawned.
“Big day tomorrow. Let’s get some sleep. I’ve kept you up long enough.” Steve said, settling the duvet around Ginny’s shoulders.
Ginny had seen another side of Steve that day; just when she thought she knew him. Now, she didn’t think she’d ever truly know everything about him, which was exhilarating and frightening at the same time.