Chapter Seven-Water

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"I'll join the jet ski lobby. Maybe start a petition." Steve chuckles as we make our way across the yard and through a patch of trees. There's a small strip of land that juts out into the water with a single tree casting its shade across the middle. Stones, half smooth with the persistence of the rise and fall of the tide descend into the muddy green water and invite me closer. I shed my jacket and toss it over a low hanging branch before shedding my shoes and socks as well.

"Are those Christmas socks?" Steve asks with mirth and I nod sheepishly. My foot reaches out towards the closest rock and I wobble slightly. Steve's there in a second, now without his leather jacket as well. He slips his hand down my arm so we're holding hands while my eyes snap up to his. Bright, clear, and blue, my brain stalls a moment as we look at one another.

"...careful." He seems to remember why he grabbed me and I nod once. My hand unconsciously tightens on his. He keeps me steady as we move all the way down to two big rocks big enough to sit on. Our hands release. I instantly sit and put my feet in the water, shivering happily at the chill. Looking at Steve, I find he's already looking at me with laughter in his eyes. "Little cold?" He questions and I wiggle my toes in the shallows.

"Feels nice. Afraid yours will fall off?" I tease and he shakes his head, putting his bare feet in the water too.

"Christ." He breathes and I laugh, the picture of a super soldier avoiding chilly water apparently hilarious to me. After I settle down I look at the concrete behemoth to our left.

"What was on the bottom floor of the facility?" I ask and look back at Steve. Light from the fading sun frames Steve in gold light so he looks like a saint in a renaissance painting. Dear god, the man is beautiful.

"That's the gym for the whole team. Usually, that's where we go to practice team maneuvers, powers, and things like that." He explains, eyes soft and glowing in the warm light. "You know, I've never actually been down here." Blue eyes scan the water and trees on either side of it.

I hum with interest as I watch him. "I'm surprised. This would be a great place to draw." Steve's nodding as if the thought occurred to him as well, but he's looking back at me when he does. Blinking, I turn back to the water. Cold strikes my shoulder and I feel the wetness, huh, was it supposed to rain today?

"Are you an artist?" Steve asks and leans into me playfully, I push back with a grin.

"No, definitely not. I do love to read though. In fact," I laugh a little at the memory, "when I was little and read about the Sirens I wanted to be one. A Siren that could charm people with a song." Of course, at the time I had no clue what that wish would entail. Steve smiles along with me.

"Reading is good." He comments and suddenly smirks. "So, how many books have you read about me?" I scoff and my cheeks turn a bit red. His grin grows. "Has to be a few since you said, 'in all the books I've read'. I'm flattered, really." My foot splashes water on his as I roll my eyes.

"Ugh." He laughs goofily as rain begins to fall at a constant rate. I turn my face up to it and relish each drop as it falls onto my skin, then runs off in rivulets. "Mind the rain?" I ask, opening my eyes and turning my head to Steve. Hair damp, blue eyes made bluer by the fog of the pouring rain, small droplets gathering on his long eyelashes, sliding down his cheeks and sharp jaw when he blinks. He's the picture of beauty and a privilege to see. Especially with the way he's looking at me.

"No." He answers simply and we both look out to the river once again, the rain causing thousands of ripples every moment. It's peaceful here. Surprising given my peace is usually found alone, so having Steve here and feeling this rare. But nice. A little time passes and I'm shivering more than enjoying when Steve reaches over to me. "Come on, let's head in. I owe you dinner, right?" I smile and nod. This promises to be interesting.

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