Chapter 3 - Lazy Day

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-March 14, 2017-

Steve bent down to tie the laces on one of his sneakers as he looked to the bed, where Natasha was sleeping peacefully. It was later than he usually went out for his run but they'd slept late and he guessed they probably needed the rest. He was surprised Natasha hadn't woken up, it was late for her as well.

As he locked the house behind him, he took a look around and took in a deep breath. The air was fresh and there was a cool breeze, perfect for a run. He walked down to the beach and stretched, taking notice of the incredible fluffy, white clouds in the blue sky. The sun sparkled on the ocean as he began to run.

Tonight was the night of their special dinner from Tony and Pepper, although Steve surmised Pepper did the leg work. He laughed to himself as he took a quick look back at the house to see if there were any signs of Natasha being awake. I wonder what Pepper has up her sleeve for us... I kind of like surprises.

Back at the house, Natasha sat up slowly, swinging her legs to the side of the bed. Her body was groggy as she reached for her phone. Oh my goodness, it's so late... I can't believe I slept that late. She noticed her muscles felt tired so she got up slowly to walk to the bathroom. I either slept too much or Steve and I were a little too energetic last night, she thought as she felt herself walk at a snail's pace. She brushed her teeth, splashed some water on her face and decided to put a bathing suit on and head down to the beach. On her way through the house, she stopped in the kitchen for some fruit and bottled water to take with her.

Natasha still felt tired as she walked past the pool and down to the beach. She set her things down by the beach chairs and started towards the water, walking in far enough to see how warm the water was. She looked around for Steve but didn't see him and thought maybe she'd just float in the ocean for a little while. Walking in deeper, she turned to lay her back down in the water and began to float, looking up at the clouds. The sensation of the water hitting every inch of her skin was refreshing compared to the tired she'd been feeling. She stared up at the clouds and focused on her breathing, feeling the relaxation sweep over her. Natasha floated in the water like that for awhile, until she felt her stomach feel uneasy and thought maybe it was time for breakfast.

As she was headed back to the shore, she saw Steve running towards her. He had a big smile on his face as he waved. "Good morning!" he yelled from 30 yards away.

"Hi, baby," she smiled, as he got closer. She reached out for him but he put his hands up.

"I'm so sweaty, you don't want to touch me," he laughed. "Let me take a dip real quick." He started kicking off his shoes and then took his socks off and his shirt. He turned to her as she dried herself with a towel. "Not going au natural today, I see?"

She laughed. "Not with this Russian skin. There are certain areas I may not want to get burned."

Steve laughed and started walking for the water. "I'm coming right back," he called with a grin and pointed at her. Natasha wrapped herself in a towel and sat down in a beach chair as she watched him walk a few feet into the water and then point his arms forward to dive in. The sun felt warm and relaxing on her skin as she watched him swim. She could tell the sun was getting warmer already so she turned the crank on the umbrella to hoist it into the air.

Leaning her head back onto the chair, a little smile came over her as she watched Steve out in the water. As she reached for a handful of strawberries, she continued to watch him and think about last night. We might have to try that again before we go home.

A few minutes later, Steve was walking towards her and reaching for a towel. He sat down next to her and smiled. "Good morning," he reached out to swipe her chin gently with one finger.

"Good morning," she hummed. "Want some breakfast?"

Steve took a banana and started to peel it. "Thanks, babe." He started to eat while he buried his toes in the sand. "You must have been extra tired this morning," he winked at her.

"Oh, from last night, you mean?" she laughed. "Yeah, I can't believe I slept so long." She turned to gaze at him as he finished his banana.

"We could sleep that late every day," he smiled. "If you need me to tire you out, just say the word." He reached for some strawberries.

"Oh, no, I wouldn't do that... I'm not sure they're any good. I just had some and I'm sort of feeling it," she said.

He handed her a bottle of water, "Drink up, you're sitting out in the sun." He stood up out of the chair. "In fact, I'm going to run back and get some sunblock. Need anything in the house?"

"I'm good," she said and Steve ran off. I wonder if he'll ever stop taking such good care of me, she wondered.

Steve was back in just minutes. "I can put some sunblock on you if you stand up," he said. "Here," he held his hand out in front of her, "this might help." He dropped two Tums into her hand. "Brought you a magazine, too."

"You're the best," she smiled as she rose out of the chair.

As the rest of the lazy morning and afternoon passed, Natasha and Steve headed back to the house to shower for their dinner.

Already dressed in his dinner jacket, Steve sat on the edge of the bed and watched Natasha put her earrings in while she looked in the mirror. "You look pretty good there, Rogers," she smirked, looking at him in the mirror.

"Not as good as you," he grinned. "You look amazing in that dress."

"And yet it looks like you're undressing me with your eyes," she laughed.

Steve looked at his watch. "Well, I guess I don't have time to actually undress you," he said sweetly, getting off the bed to walk to her and wrap his arms around her waist.

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