The Safehouse - AU Bucky Barnes x OC
warnings: post-TFATWS Bucky, one bed, hurt.comfort, smut, 18+
word count: 10k
Juniper stretched out her neck the best she could in the passenger seat of the undercover police car as she brushed the tangles out of her messy brown hair. Her long legs had started to tingle and her butt was numb from being in the car for twelve hours. She wiggled her toes before pressing them against the rubber sole of her converse and pushing it free of her heel.
She scowled. Her bottom lip jutted out upon seeing that her one sock, the cute lavender one with the cat on it, sadly had a hole in it and she could see the chipped red nail polish on her last three toes. The lump in her throat, the horrible one that had been lodged there since the day she watched John Walker shoot that man in the back of the head unprovoked, wouldn’t dissolve.
Her stomach growled forcing her out of her silent bubble of safety, she looked over at him and anxiety flooded her. His scruffy jaw tensed tightly the second she cast her blue eyes on him. His gloved fingers gripped tighter on the steering wheel as her stomach growled louder filling the silence between them.
“I’m driving you to the safe house in Washington, I’m not your friend.”
He hadn’t spoken a word to her since he had taken her into possession. She wasn’t sure he would stop to feed her even if she asked nicely. Juniper went to open her mouth but was left silent when he turned to look at her.
“Whatever it is. No.” He snapped. “We’re an hour from the first safe house, we aren’t stopping.”
Juniper sighed before she spoke but her stomach grumbled audibly before she could say anything. His piercing blue eyes turned to face her, a look of annoyance marred his rugged features.
''Alright, let's get some food in you before I get accused of letting you die of starvation'' he said his voice low.
Somehow the tone of his voice got under her skin and a wave of goosebumps formed on her skin. Fucking hell it's cold. He might not let me die of starvation but she might as well freeze to death.
“Thanks,” she muttered bitterly, turning her head to stare out of the window once more.
The highway was lined with pine trees, their branches laden with snow. Through the gaps in their trunks, she caught turquoise flashes of water, a lake she presumed, the grey of the sky reflecting from its still surface. It would be beautiful here, Juniper thought, if she were here for a different reason and with someone, anyone, else.
Juniper pulled her hoodie sleeves over her hands to try to keep any and all body heat enclosed. How the hell is he not cold? Juniper thought to herself. Her escort had turned off the heat about four hours ago and it seemed he wasn’t going to turn it back on anytime soon.
Juniper decided that maybe talking would take her mind off the tragic scene she had witnessed and her continuously growling stomach, “So, quick question, we’ve been driving for twelve hours, and the last time I saw a sign for food was about five hours ago. Where exactly are we going to find food out in the middle of nowhere?”
She turned her attention back to the road in front of them when he didn’t answer her. There were hardly any cars on the road.
“You know, if I had known we would be driving for hours I would have packed some food. It’s kind of hard to pack a bag without any warning or details about where I am going or for how long” she said with a hint of annoyance in her voice.
"Sure princess," he sneered, his icy blues turned in her direction for a second causing her face to heat up, "next time your life is in danger, we'll be sure to let you know beforehand so you can pack food."
The car sped up a little before slowing down as he finished, leaving Juniper flustered in anger at him and the situation she found herself in.
Bringing her hand up to the window for the fourth time within twenty minutes, she wiped the foggy window clean in hopes of distracting herself from her hunger.
“How much farther do we have to go? There’s no possible way that this isn’t a dead end,” Juniper slumped against the seat.
The man beside her sighed as he shot a sharp glance in her direction.
“Are you ever not complaining?” He asked. His voice was rough, probably from the lack of talking, and Juniper twisted in her seat to face him a little better.
“I’ll have you know I’m a ray of fucking sunshine when I’m not starving… or in a car with Sergeant Mood-killer who won’t even let me put music on… for twelve whole hours.”
He clenched his jaw at her remark. She watched him carefully as his Adam's apple bobbed in his throat while he clutched the steering wheel harder, his leather gloves squeaking against it.
"My job is to keep you safe, not to satisfy your whims. Which means I need to keep my senses sharp and I can't do that listening to whatever mmbop crap you wanna listen to."
“Maybe that’s what you and you’re friends listen to in your free time since you already seem so much fun to be around, but it’s not what I would prefer when I think of music, Mr. “I wear gloves to drive a car”. What are you? 87?”
“Can you shut up?” He responded annoyed. His jaw was clenching so hard she was afraid he would crack it…but on the other hand…
“No, I won’t shut up. I’m bored, hungry, tired, and cold! Sorry that I’m not a robot like you. I am a human and I need those things like food and sleep once in a while!”
He didn’t respond. All he did was slow down the car, making Juniper hope they had arrived at the safe house. But to her surprise, he stopped the car on the side of the road.
“What are you doing?” She asked confused.
He didn’t answer and got out with a blast of freezing cold air, slamming the door shut behind him as Juniper sat in shock. She watched as he flexed his left hand a few times, clenching it into a fist before opening the door and getting back in.
“D-done with your temper t-tantrum?” Juniper sniped, although it was slightly ruined by her chattering teeth.
He narrowed his icy gaze on her face, “you should try insulting me once your lips stop trembling, tough guy.”
She pouted at him and the muscle in his jaw tensed as he leaned into her space, “my only job is to keep you alive until you can put a man behind bars. It is hard to do that when I want to kill you myself. Shut up and let me drive.”
Juniper could feel the heat rolling off his body. Sandalwood and cinnamon filled her senses and she fought to keep her cold lips still as he scolded her. He leaned back into his seat, satisfied with the fear he had instilled. Proud of himself. A horrible clinking sound, followed by a long painful muffle screeched sounded as he forced the keys into the ignition.
"Fuck. Of course, this happens," he growled hitting his gloved hand on the steering wheel letting out a string of curses under his breath. Somehow how seeing him mad made him look infuriatingly attractive.
"If you move, I'll tie you to your seat," he grumbled before getting out of the car.
"We are in the middle of bumfuck nowhere, why would I leave?" Juniper retorted ironically.
She heard the snow crumple under his heavy footsteps as he rounded the front of the car and popped the hood. She couldn’t see him from where she sat shivering in the car but she sure as hell heard him when he swore loudly and slammed the hood back down. The car rocked when his boot connected with the tire and she let out an involuntary yelp when he drove his right fist into the hood once, twice, and a third time, leaving craters in the smooth black metal.
For the second time, Juniper is hit with a blast of ice-cold air as the agent gets back in the driver's seat.
“FUCK”, he yells as he pounds the steering wheel, bending it with the force of the hit.
Juniper gasped, “LANGUAGE! Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?!”
At a time like this, humor was the only thing that kept Juniper from having an absolute breakdown. Apparently, that wasn’t the case for her escort.
His blue eyes pierced into her as he whipped his head to stare at her. “Get out.” He said sternly.
“Wha-what?” Juniper stuttered as her eyes widened.
"Did you not hear me the first time?"
"You need to calm down, dude."
"I am calm," he snarled through gritted teeth. "You know what would make me a lot calmer, is if you did as you're told, dude."
Juniper shivered beneath the weight of his gaze but got out of the car. She didn't want to mess with him, or piss him off after he just dented the hood. She shut the door and crossed her arms over her chest to conserve her body heat. She could feel his eyes on her.
"You cold?" He asked, his voice clipped.
She didn't answer, still shaken by this violent outburst. Her escort sighed and shrugged off his jacket, holding it out for her. She sneered at it and he huffed.
"Take it." His voice softened, along with the permanent scowl he seemed to wear. Slowly, Juniper grabbed the coat, but apparently, even that was too slow for him and he wrapped it around her shoulders, zipping it up. She smelled leather and the cinnamon from his cologne. He sighed softly and looked around. "We have to walk. Car's busted."
"You sure?" She asked with a raised brow. "You wanna hit it again? Maybe roundhouse kick it a few times? I heard mechanics do that a lot."
He rolled his eye at her comment and walked around to the back of the car and opened up the boot and grabbed his bag along with hers. He closed the boot and started to walk along the road. She began to follow him and reached out her hand.
“I can carry my bag, I don’t need you to carry it for me,” she said as she caught up with him. He handed her bag over in silence as he continued to walk. “So are we just going to leave the car here or…”
“I’ll call someone when we get to where we are going… hopefully they will be able to fix it,” he replied with a sigh.
“And where are we going exactly and how long will it take? Because I rather not be walking out on the road when it gets dark and even colder,” she said trying to keep up with his pace damn this dude could walk fast.
“You’ll see,” is all he had to offer. Juniper sighed as she rolled her eyes- this guy was going to make this ten times harder than it should be.
In hopes of entertaining herself, she looked up at all the wildlife around them; the beautiful pine trees with their branches covered in snow, the few birds that actually liked the cold decorating the trees with their nests.
It was beautiful as the late-day sun made the snow glisten with a sparkle similar to that of a diamond.
Where ever they were going, it was quiet and peaceful- something she could get used to.
“So…what’s your favorite food?” She asked, her chipper voice breaking the silence.
“Pizza,” he muttered, voice lost to the wind as he marched ahead. Juniper skipped to keep up, huffing and puffing as the cold air hit the back of her throat.
“Booooring,” she breathed out, smirking when he growled in frustration. “What kind of pizza?”
“Listen, sweetheart. I don’t know how many times I need to tell you this, but we’re not gonna do the whole ‘getting to know you’ shit. Stop talking, keep up, and stay alert. You talk again, I’m throwing you over my shoulder.”
Juniper stared up at him, eyes drawn to where his jaw ticked before they tracked up to his mouth and the way he clicked his tongue against his teeth.
They continued their trek along the side of the road for what felt like ages for Juniper as she tried to keep up with her escort's long strides. She felt like her legs were going to give out, both from exhaustion and the cold seeping through her clothes. No matter how many times she'd rebundled herself into his coat she just couldn't shake it, all the while this man walked around completely unfazed at the dropping temperature. At one point she felt his cutting gaze on her as she adjusted the coat and her bag once again, she assumed the scratching and rubbing of the fabrics was also annoying to him. She cast her eyes downward and continued walking. This was the worst thing that could have happened to her, they could have at least assigned her someone with compassion.
She began to feel a little dizzy and just as she was about to ask him how much longer it would be, he stopped. He turned to her, giving her a once-over at the sight of her slumped shoulders. For just a split second she thought she saw a glimpse of worry in his eyes.
"It's through here. Just a few more steps, okay?" He voiced as he nodded towards a barely there path between a string of cedars.
The sudden bout of dizziness grew stronger and she thought if she opened her mouth, everything would leave her stomach right away, so she answered with a quick nod, looking down at the white snow beneath her feet.
“You okay?” He furrowed his brows.
She didn’t respond, so he took a step closer to her.
“Talk to me.” His tone was commanding, but it felt like he was concerned about her.
Juniper swallowed before she answered. “What is your name?” She was still looking at her feet, covering her stomach with her arms.
“You answer my question first-“
“What. Is. Your. Name?”
He sighed before he answered, a little confused by her sudden change in behavior. “James.” his voice was soft.
She nodded, “Okay…James?” She made a quick pause before she continued. “I’m not feeling good.”
He let out a deep breath before he stepped closer. She yelped in surprise when she felt his strong arms lifting her up into his arms, carrying her the rest of the way.
“What? I didn’t mean- you don’t have to carry me, I just needed to rest,” Juniper said quietly, unable to stop herself from snuggling into his warm embrace.
“Better to get there faster,” James said gruffly, staring straight ahead, jaw ticking again. He didn’t seem to be under any strain at all, just annoyance.
“Thank you anyways,” Juniper whispered, and she felt his arms tighten around her briefly before James cleared his throat roughly.
“It’s nothin’,” he rumbled just as a cabin came into view.
She followed him as he slowed down his steps through the snow-covered path. The trees interlock each other as if walking through a tunnel. He stopped them just outside the porch. It may not have been much for the world but for Juniper, it felt like walking into a new untouched world. It looked picturesque with the cabin that was nestled back in the woods. The snow lay like a thick blanket on the roof, the snow barely hanging on the edges with a brick chimney. She could already see herself sitting in front of the fireplace with her hands reaching out to finally replace the cold with warmth again.
“Is this it?” She asked as she looked up at him.
He narrowed his eyes in front, clicking his tongue against his teeth. “No, the Hilton is just behind it. Do you think you can make it?”
Juniper huffed and rolled her eyes. She became acutely aware of her arms wrapped around his neck and felt a blush creep across her face. “Put me down.”
James said nothing, just suddenly dropping his arm from underneath her body. She felt her Converse land against the snow, sinking slightly into the pillowy white. As much as she didn’t want to admit it, the sudden loss of James’ body heat had her trembling. She exhaled deeply and watched the cloud of her breath fill the air as she stared up at the porch.
The safe house. Her new digs for the next… however long. With this giant, muscular jerk. Great.
“Let’s go,” he said gruffly. He put his hand on the small of her back and ushered her up the wooden steps. The planks creaked under their weight as if they haven’t been used in years. James reached up towards the porch light and Juniper winced as she heard the crunch of spider webs. He procured a single key and shoved it in the deadbolt, pushing the front door open. He stood behind her as her shoulders trembled, and pursed his lips.
“Alright, princess. Get in.”
“You know I have a name right?” Juniper muttered as she stepped inside the cabin with a small push from James.
The wind blew against the side of the house and she could feel the draft through the walls. The furniture had a thin layer of dust clouded around them and it reeked of must.
She shuddered again feeling the cold seep further into her bones. Juniper set down her bag, coughing slightly at the dust cloud that formed around her.
James pulled the old door closed and rounded the old green couch that took up most of the living space, tossing his bag onto the cushion. She stood, watching him as he inspected the fireplace and then the wood pile next to it.
“It’s not much wood,” he sighed, tossing a few logs into the fireplace, “do me a favor darlin’, check the closets for blankets, paper, anything we can use to keep warm.”
She stood, almost frozen in place her legs ached and her stomach still growling. James glanced up at her after not hearing her move, his eyes a bright ocean blue against the harsh darkness around them, “Juniper? Can you do that?” He asked but it sounded more like a command.
She curled up her toes in her wet shoes and bit her lip, staring around the cabin. She had stepped out of a winter wonderland and back into the horror movie that her life had become.
“Alright,” he stood wiping his hands on his pants. “I know that you’re tired, hungry, and scared but if I don’t get you warm now, you’re going to wish being hungry was your only problem.”
“I get that being an asshole is your whole personality but some of us can’t compartmentalize our needs,” Juniper whined but James didn’t falter in his order of her. “Fine, blankets, paper.”
“Good girl,” he smirked and suddenly she wasn’t so cold anymore as a wildfire spread through her belly. She turned her back on him, wandering around the cabin using the tiny bit of sunlight that peered through the dust-caked windows until she found a closet. The doorknob and hinges were covered in a thick coating of dust and webs. "Spiders," she shuddered, kicking her foot against the ground like a child, "I fucking hate spiders."
She pulled the sleeve over her fingers and twisted the doorknob just hoping that the spider had long fled the rotted wood.
She found a stack of old newspapers which she tried to pick up as a spider fled the stack over her feet. Juniper let out a high-pitched screech that sounded through the whole cabin.
Seconds later, James barged into the room.
"What's going on ?" a slight concern laced his deep voice.
Juniper's face marred with disgust.
"Fucking spider." She murmured under her breath.
“You’re kiddin’ me, right?” He said with disdain, frowning anew.
“Look,” she shuddered, “everyone has limits and this is mine. Are you gonna protect me, or are you gonna keep frowning at me?”
“Can you at least grab the blankets?” He asked.
“I fuckin’ told Sam I wasn’t the right guy for this. Shoulda asked fuckin’ Torres,” James grumbled under his breath as he picked up the stack of paper.
James walked back to the fireplace again, leaning down, and began to stuff kindling and starter paper around the larger logs.
Juniper looked around her and saw the doorway to a small, kitchen. “Finally”, she breathed a sigh of relief. She stepped towards a row of cabinets next to a refrigerator she was sure was as old as her grandma. With caution, she opened the first cabinet to be greeted with no spiders and canned food goods.
Her stomach growled again as she grabbed a can of fruit cocktail and spam, not her favorite food, but they would have to do. She began rummaging through the drawers looking for a can opener and a spoon.
“What are you doing?” James appeared in the doorway, a look of annoyance still on his face, “Do you always make so much noise?”
She sneered at him, her hunger bleeding into pure agitation.
"Oh, I'm sorry, do regular sounds that humans make bother you, Your Highness? I'm looking for a can opener."
James rolled his eyes and walked toward her, pulling a knife out of nowhere. She gasped and put her hands up as he flipped it in his hand and then grabbed the can. He bit down on his bottom lip as he used the tip of the knife to dig beneath the metal lid. It popped off in an instant and he slammed it back down on the counter.
"Don't say I never did nothin' for ya, princess."
"What about a spoon... or a fork?!" She squeaked.
"You've got perfectly good forks on the ends of your arms," he called as he strode back toward the fire to start working on it.
Juniper crossed her arms over her chest, scowling at him.
"Are you going to be an ass this entire time?"
He looked over his shoulder, his eyes glittering. Her knees knocked together and she had to lean against the counter to keep herself from falling over. She could feel the flush in her cheeks and her throat clenched as James flashed her a cocky grin.
"It's my specialty, sugar."
Juniper stuck her tongue out at him once he had turned his back to her. She decided she was too hungry to look for a fork and opted to use her fingers to eat the canned fruit. Leaving the kitchen she decided to explore the rest of the cabin. When she came across the bedroom she found that there was only one bed.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” she said.
“What?” James called from the living room.
“I’ve read too many books to know what this means. And a lot of fics on AO3. Nope, not happening” she said, shaking her head back and forth.
“Huh?” James asked.
“There’s only one bed…” Juniper said.
“And?” James asked coming into the room.
"And?! It's not happening, mister!" Juniper snickered at him, only to be met with his vacant stare.
"What?" He huffed out after a beat, confusion mixing with irritation on his face.
She marched to the bed, canned fruit in hand as she planted herself in the middle of the bed, cross legged and staring at him while picking a pineapple slice and talking around the bite in her mouth;
"I'm taking the bed, and there will be no sharing it or warming up together. No sir. None."
She swallowed the piece of fruit as he marched out of the room, mumbling to himself.
“Hey!” She launched a piece of pineapple at him, hitting him square on the back of the head and he froze as it made impact, “I need confirmation that you’re not gonna try anything.”
“I’m not gonna try anythin’, sugar, don’t you worry.”
Juniper huffed, “well now I’m just gonna think you don’t find me attractive.”
“Jesus Christ,” James stalked back into the bedroom, stopping in front of her. Her eye line fell level with his chest, the hard muscles pulling his shirt tight as inhaled deeply and let out a heavy breath. “It would be unprofessional of me to comment on your looks, Juniper.”
“But you kinda want to, don’t ya?” She grinned.
He pinched the bridge of his nose and let out an exasperated huff.
"I don't want anything and I'm not entertaining this conversation anymore."
"Oh come on, James. Indulge a girl a little, one compliment won't kill you." she voiced peering at him through her lashes.
He let his arm fall to his side as he stepped forward, pressing his hands onto the mattress as he leaned down to meet her gaze. Juniper swallowed slightly as he inched closer to her. Their noses were just inches apart, ocean blue eyes boring into hers, his breath fanning her face as he responded.
"You're not sharing the bed, I'm not indulging you. With compliments or otherwise. Eat your fruit and behave, Juniper."
Her brows knit together, her brain failing to put words together at the moment as he brought himself back to his height and turned back to leave the room.
“Jerk,” she muttered to herself, enjoying the rest of her fruit.
The next couple of hours were exhausting. She didn’t know what to do besides walking around the house and looking at the spider webs, giving them names to have at least something that makes the time go by faster. After a couple of hours, she got tired and decided to lie on her bed. Bucky was still at the fireplace, heating the cabin up a little, though the warmth didn’t reach the bedroom. He looked through some blankets to make sure they were free of spiders before he went to the bedroom, laying the blankets onto the bed.
“Here,” he said softly. Looking up at her he saw that she was changing her wet sweater.
He cleared his throat and looked away, giving her privacy.
After she changed into a dry t-shirt, she voiced a soft “Thank you,” which made him turn to look at her again.
He responded with a quick nod and left the room.
Juniper stepped over to the pile of blankets, picking one up and delicately shaking it out, relieved when no spiders fell out. As she wrapped it around her shoulders, she heard James’ voice through the open door.
“…and then the damn car broke down! Don’t laugh Sam, it wasn’t funny- she was exposed, she could’ve died.” Juniper shuddered and started to turn away when there was silence but James spoke again. “Ha ha Sam, you just might have to stop me still, she’s a goddamn pain in my ass!”
Her shoulders sunk down, the blanket fully enveloping her frame. Hot tears filled her eyes and before she could recognize herself as upset, they spilled over. Her cheeks burned as her thoughts spiraled. She wanted to run into the other room and smack James, giving him a piece of her mind. She could still hear him talking to Sam- probably still complaining about her.
She didn’t ask to see what she saw. She didn’t ask for her entire life to be upended. She certainly didn’t ask to be stuck in the middle of the snowy woods with Agent Sunshine.
Juniper felt the flames of white-hot anger deep in her belly. She felt the words bubbling up in her throat- this guy was being such a dick, and she was gonna let him know-
“G-goodnight,” she said suddenly. She heard James stop talking. A little louder, more confident now- “Goodnight, James.”
She didn’t give him a chance to respond before she walked forward and closed the bedroom door, hearing a firm click. The blanket sagged from her shoulders as she collapsed on the bed in a heap of tears, finally letting the reality of her situation sink in.
Juniper woke to the sound of something thudding against the side of the house. Her eyes shot open as the images of yesterday started flooding back in. She quickly sat up, her heart hammering in her chest as she wrapped the blanket from last night further around her frame.
“J—James?” She sucked in a burst of cold air when the thudding suddenly stopped. It had to be him, they were in the middle of nowhere. Walker couldn’t have found her so soon. But what if he did.
“James?” She asked again, a little louder this time as she reached for the bedroom door handle. Her fingers wrapped around the frigid metal before turning it carefully.
Juniper poked her head out, her eyes searching the room. She finally let out the breath she hadn’t realized she was holding when she saw him standing in the doorway, an arm full of damp logs, kicking his boots against the threshold to rid them of the matted snow.
Crystal blue eyes fell on her face, his brows furrowing for a moment but softened as she opened the door fully.
“Morning’.” He muttered, his voice raspy and still full of sleep.
“Morning,” she whispered watching him move about the room stacking the wood against the fireplace.
The tension between them was thick, and his words from last night still hung in the air. She’s a pain in my ass.
“How long are we going to be here?”
James sighed, glancing up at her like suddenly her presence was a burden, “I don’t know, June. Probably until Walker isn’t planning on hurting you anymore.”
“I would appreciate it if you didn’t joke about that,” she huddled her arms around herself as she walked toward the edge of the couch and sat on the arm. He rolled his eyes and went back to stacking wood, this time within the fireplace.
“It may be normal for someone like you but I’ve never seen…” she stopped shaking the images of the blood pooling on the ground at her feet from her mind.
He paused his process of stacking the wood, his shoulders tensing at her words. She didn’t expect an apology for his crass remarks over the last twenty-four hours, but he could at least stop making them.
“Torres dropped off a vehicle this morning, I’m going to go into town and get proper food and supplies,” he started, as his lighter clicked to life and the fireplace roared to life. The dull flickering illuminated his face as he turned on his heels to look at her again and like he was reading her mind cut her off before she could speak. “You’ll stay here and don't bother arguing you can’t be seen in town.”
Juniper sighed loud enough for him to hear.
“Stay by the fire, inside Juniper.” He warned.
She wouldn’t win this fight but she could at least make his life harder, she spun around and stomped back to her room, slamming the door behind her.
“Brat!” She heard him call as he slammed the front door in response.
The hours ticked by and her own thoughts ate away at her as the wind ripped around outside the cabin. As the sun began to dip low in the sky, darkness engulfed the tiny cabin and the wind turned to a vicious hailing of snow. She trembled, wracked with chills even under two blankets as she talked herself off the cliff.
Each snap of the branches made her blood dip in temperature until the front door swung open. Slamming uncontrollably against the inside wall she dipped her head under the blankets as her heart pounded uncomfortably within her chest. John had found her. She was sure of it.
“June?” A muffled voice called out to her, “hey,” warm hands reached out in the darkness and wrapped around her shoulders as the bed dipped behind her. “Fuck you’re freezing,” James swore as he pulled his jacket off and pressed himself against her.
“Get away from me,” she pushed against him even though his warmth felt so good, it was intoxicating and made her sleepy.
“You have to get warm June, you don’t have a choice,” he grumbled, pulling her against his chest he wrapped his arms around her tighter and forced her face into the crook of his warm neck.
Deciding that it would be fruitless to fight against this annoying, muscular giant she slumped against his hard body, breathing in his scent. His skin radiated a heat that spread through her body pooling low in her stomach.
"Thank you," she whispered almost inaudibly.
"You're welcome, sunshine," he murmured as he began to stroke a stray strand of hair out of her face.
Goosebumps appeared on Juniper’s arms, her not knowing if it was from the nickname and low, sultry voice of the human radiator holding her, or just the heat in general. Suddenly, Juniper felt herself being lifted off the bed.
“What are you doing?” Juniper whispered as she raised her head to look at James.
James tilted his head to look at her, “Well, княжна, you let the fire die while I was gone. So I need to start it again and warm you up completely before the hypothermia sets in”.
James had moved easily through the cabin and gently placed Juniper on the broken down couch in front of the fireplace, keeping her wrapped in the blanket he had found her under.
“And you’re not going to get sick? You have on jeans and a t-shirt just like me!” Juniper snipped back, pulling her knees to her chest trying to keep what body heat James had left behind wrapped around her.
James looked over his shoulder and smirked, “I’m a super soldier doll, I can’t get sick or cold.” He then turned his attention back to the fireplace.
She watched him start the fire, his muscles rippling beneath his t-shirt.
"What did you call me?" She asked.
A chuckle escaped his throat.
"I call you a lot things."
Her cheeks burned with humiliation. She was fixated on the Russian word-- at least it sounded Russian. It was probably something mean, and he was probably going to lie about it. He hated her, and she didn't understand why. She huffed softly and looked out the window as the snow fell, tears misting her eyes. She was stuck here with this asshole who hated her. The loneliness was starting to sink in and her throat clenched as she struggled to swallow the lump growing at the base of it. She just wanted to go home.
Suddenly, she heard the fire crackling and then felt a warm hand tuck beneath her chin.
"June?" He whispered. "Can you look at me?"
She shook her head and heard a soft, disgruntled sigh, a gentle crunch of knees as he crouched in front of her, leaning until his eyes met hers. Tears dripped down her cheeks and she tried to flick them away before he saw them but it was futile.
"Go away," she whispered, her chin trembling. She felt like she could choke.
"княжна means princess," he breathed, turning her head to face him. "And I'm not going anywhere."
"Why are you staying? You could just leave me here, no one would know." Juniper hiccuped between tears, her voice thick with a held back sob as her eyes connected with his.
A tired sigh left him as James shuffled closer to her while he kept his eyes on her, lips pursed into a thin line.
"Look June," he lifted a calloused hand to grasp her own causing her breath to stutter, her eyes flitted down to his hand covering hers before looking back up at him, "I know this is hard on you. I know that I haven't made it any easier and I know you feel trapped here but.. I wanna keep you safe, okay?"
She could feel the warmth radiating from the fire starting to warm her chilled bones but it was nothing compared to the heat washing over her from his words, enough to quiet down the doubtful voices inside her head at his change in attitude.
His thumb running soothing lines over her hand was distracting enough on its own.
"Nothing is gonna happen to you, because I'm not leaving you." He whispered with conviction lacing his tone.
“You promise, James?” She whispered, still not fully convinced. He nodded with a soft chuckle that made her heart flutter. His hard exterior seemed to melt with each passing second that they stood in front of the fire.
“Are you warming up at all, darlin’?” A hint of a Brooklyn accent poked through his words, making her smile sheepishly. She had always found accents attractive.
But she couldn’t lie- neither he, the fire, nor the two blankets were helping to warm her up. Shaking her head, James sighed as he frantically looked around the small cabin for something to help.
Time seemed to move painfully slow as his taut chest was fully revealed and Juniper felt like her eyes were going to pop out of their sockets at the sight. The contour of his arms and chest was illuminated in tinges of orange from the flames dancing in the fireplace.
"We need to get you warmed up fast, June and cold pieces of fabric between us isn't going to help get that done."
She felt her heart begin to beat faster and her throat ran dry as a taunting heat crept up her neck. This has to be a dream. She felt his warm hand brush against hers and broke from her trance meeting his gaze.
"I need you to trust me, Juniper. Let me help you. Please?"
All she could do was nod, as a violent shiver wracked her body, making her grab James’ hand to steady herself. He raised his other hand to her waist, gently touching the hem of her shirt.
“Take this off?” he asked quietly, lifting the shirt an inch before Juniper took it, raising it and pulling it off the rest of the way.
James kept his eyes firmly on hers, but raised his hands to her pants. “It’ll help if these come off too.”
“R-remember no f-funny business,” she said as she nodded her assent, James flashing a quick grin as he undid the button and pulled down the material.
“I gotcha doll, strictly professional cuddling happening now,” James said seriously as he quickly shucked his own pants and held his arms out for Juniper.
She wrapped her arms tightly around her stomach and gently leaned towards him. She was hesitant, but honestly- she was too fucking cold to wait any longer. She could feel the warmth radiating off his chiseled chest, and her options could be worse.
A blush crept up her chest and spread to her face as her eyes quickly glanced over his now exposed lower half. This man was made of muscle- his hipbones could cut glass, and his thighs were so burly that she felt icy butterflies in her stomach.
As she continued to blush and move towards him, she wasn’t sure how her blood was still flowing- every part of her was as cold as ice. She felt goosebumps rising to the surface of her skin as James wrapped his arms around her.
Juniper dropped her forehead against his chest and immediately felt a surge of warmth. She swallowed a moan in her throat as she flung her arms around James, closing her eyes tight and holding onto him for dear life. Her body trembled against his, aching to get closer.
“Whoa there, sugar,” James cooed, lowering them both towards the couch cushions on the ground. He held her small frame alongside his, covering them both with blankets. “Let’s get you comfy by the fire.”
“How are you like a million degrees?” Her voice shuddered softly as a chill wracked through her and she curled further into him.
James laughed, the vibration in his chest hitting her straight in her core, “are you complaining? Because I could just,” he feigned scooting away from her but her fingers gripped into the taut skin around his waist, holding onto the soft spots that melded to her fingertips making him laugh again.
“I was not complaining, just… making an observation.” She rolled her lips between her teeth, holding back a smile as she watched the flames flicker and dance in front of them.
“Right.” He breathed, tucking his hands around her waist.
She tilted her head up, pulling away from him a touch so she could really see his face. The hard lines of his jaw and how it angled behind his ear in a sharp swoop that she wanted to trace with her shaky, frozen fingers.
His lips hovered near hers, watching her as she studied everything about his face in the flickering light of the fire. The flames licked and danced behind his blue eyes as his lip curled up in response to her staring.
“More observations?” He whispered and the husky tone of his voice mixed with the feathering touch of his fingers rubbing circles into her bare skin made her thighs clench together.
She nodded, words evading her. He leaned in closer, his spicy cinnamon scent overwhelming her and making her stomach twist into knots. His lips parted mere inches from hers as his eyes flickered from her gaze to her mouth, it was a languid movement that made her inch closer begging for him to close the distance.
“June, this is the part in those books when the boy kisses the girl,” he huffed, hot air brushing over her lips.
Her brows furrowed and her hand came up to lay flat against his hard chest, her nails digging into the skin, “you read romance books?” She laughed, unable to believe that and her bottom lip brushed against his sending sparks through her.
Juniper gasped at the electricity running through her from such a small touch. She would blame her brain for being frozen and unable to filter her next words. “Why don’t you show me what happens in those romance books you read?” With each word, their lips continued to touch in the tiniest ways.
James chuckled as his eyes gazed into hers again, “Now doll, I thought this was professional cuddling only?”
Juniper saw the blue in James’ eyes become smaller, she slowly moved her hands down his chest to rest on the waistband of his boxers. Rolling her hips closer to him she said, “The tent you’ve pitched isn’t very professional, agent.”
Before she could close the distance to finally kiss him, James had her laid flat underneath him.
Resting on his left forearm so as not to crush Juniper.
James moved her legs apart with his knee, getting closer to her face again, “It’s Sergeant” He said as his lips eclipsed hers.
The kiss was crushing at first, all of the tension that lingered between them communicated through clicking teeth and tangled tongues. She didn't understand it. One minute, this man couldn't stand her, and the next, he couldn't get enough of her. On the plus side, she was a hell of a lot warmer.
Juniper drew in a sharp gasp through her nose as her fingers found the dog tags hanging around his neck, tugging on them. He broke the kiss to drag his lips along her jawline, tracing it as her eyes fluttered until his mouth met her earlobe.
"I thought you hated me," she whined, and then smirked before adding, "Sergeant."
The groan that spilled from his lips made her back arch. James pulled back, his eyes nearly black from his blown out pupils. A smirk eclipsed his face and her eyes followed the soft constellation of freckles that ran down his razor sharp cheekbone.
"Oh, darlin', I don't hate you. I was just afraid I wouldn't be able to stay away from you." She felt his knee glide higher and higher and moaned at the scorching heat from his skin. "And I hate it when I lose a bet with myself."
"What was the bet?"
She felt his knee grind against her cunt and moaned softly as he grinned, his face turning bright pink.
"I don't know," he laughed, his nose scrunching up. "I just wanted a cheesy romance book line to say."
Her fingers tightened around the chain and she pulled him close enough that his nose was pressed against hers. He rubbed it gently against hers, both of them giggling softly. Juniper hummed as she scratched his chest lightly with her fingernails.
"We've got a fireplace, one bed, I'm freezing, you're warming me up... looks like we're ticking all the boxes."
"Looks like it," James breathed. His metal hand came up to brush her cheek. "Can I kiss you again, княжна?"
His voice was so much softer this time, sweeter. She bit her lip and nodded before his mouth pressed against hers once more.
The second kiss was needier, messier as the fire flickered behind them. Between the fire and the kiss, Juniper was finally warm.
“Do you want to stay here or move to the bed?” She whispered a love drunk smile spread across her bruising lips. A calloused hand made its way down her side, the roughness sending waves of arousal to her core.
“I don’t know darlin’. Right here is just fine by me,” Nodding, she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him back down.
His rough hand found its way to the band of her panties, trailing across her stomach before he stopped.
Juniper dragged her nails softly across his scalp, fingers interlaced in his soft chestnut strands as she brought their lips closer together.
"Please do." she voiced before pressing her lips to his in a searing kiss.
James bit her bottom lip lightly and pulled back, releasing it with a pop as he sat back. He hooked his index fingers under the waistband of her underwear and pulled them down her legs, his eyes never leaving hers in the process. She sucked in a breath at the sudden chill before feeling his flesh hand grasp her calf as he placed a tender kiss to her leg.
"You let me know if you wanna stop at any point, ok Juniper?" She nodded in response and he squeezed her calf gently and shook his head. "I need to hear you say it sweetheart."
"Yes, I won't want that though. But ok, I will." she bit her lip holding back a smile at the sight of him as a slight pink blush crept to his face, nose scrunched with a smile. A soft laugh slipped from his lips followed by a whispered behave, Juniper before he began laying a trail of wet kisses up her leg. His fingers kneaded her thighs as he laid down, his hot breath fanning her wet cunt as he draped her leg over his shoulder. His vibranium hand found hers and he locked their fingers together as he licked a stripe between her folds. The tip of his warm tongue circled her tender nub before he took it between his lips.
Juniper moaned, fingers back in James’ hair she clenched tight and pulled lightly, directing him to put more pressure on her clit. He groaned into her, vibrations traveling through her cunt to her fingers and toes.
“James, oh my God your tongue,” Juniper gasped, feeling him smile into her wet heat before he curled his tongue and licked at her walls. “Fuck!”
James pulled back, nipping at her inner thighs, teasing her back down from the edge.
“Easy darlin’, we’ve got all night,” he murmured with a wink before he pressed back in, tongue gliding through her folds again.
He lapped at her clit with his tongue, moaning into her soaked core. He unlaced his metal fingers from hers and ran them up the length of her frame and back down the column of her throat, over the lace of her bra, cupping her breast in his hand. The fire had warmed up the cool metal, and Juniper’s skin was addicted to the warmth.
He palmed at her right breast with his metal hand, lightly pinching her nipple. The entire time, he continued working her clit. He wrapped his lips around it and sucked. She gasped as he started to roll her nipple between his fingers at the same time, causing it to pebble beneath the fabric.
He grasped at the fabric between her breasts and in one swift move he tore through the fabric like it was nothing, left staring at the flimsy lace in his hand.
He pulled away from her cunt, his mouth slick. “Oh God,” he started, his breath hitched in his throat. He looked from the bra back up at Juniper who didn’t recognize the guttural noise that bubbled up from her core. It was half shock and half primal lust.
“That was so fucking hot,” she breathed, looking down at him through her lashes.
All doubt and fear fell from James’ face as he heard her words. He grinned as he dove down and captured her lips in his. Juniper moaned into the kiss, tasting herself on his tongue. He tossed the bra across the floor and slipped his metal hand between their bodies, running two fingers through her slick.
She whined as he slipped his fingers inside her with ease. “James-“ she whined, his teeth taking her bottom lip between his.
“Call me sergeant,” he growled against her jawline, moving his metal fingers in and out of her wet cunt.
Juniper gasped as his fingers curled inside of her, tenderly stroking the spot that made her toes curl and sent shockwaves of pleasure through her body.
"Yes, Sergeant" She breathed, her eyes slamming closed as her hips rolled upwards between them, meeting the movements of his hand.
She raked her fingers down his back, trailing along the band of his boxers. Juniper felt his body tense for a moment, making her open her eyes to meet his. They were completely black now, his chest heaved with his pants as he stared down at her.
"It's okay," He whispered, his lips barely hovering over hers as he gave her permission to move.
Juniper gently dug her nails into his skin, forcing a groan to spill from him. Her fingers grasped around his cock, already wet with precum and sensitive. He bucked into her hand at the slightest of her movements, whimpering as James buried his face into her neck.
"I need you," She whined, her body feeling like it was floating as he coaxed her further towards the edge, "please Ja--Sergeant."
“Whatever you want, sweetheart.” James muttered into Juniper’s neck. He then pushed off her to shed his boxers, the absence of heat sending a cold chill through her body. She couldn’t take her eyes off James’ cock as it slapped against his abs, making them glisten in the firelight with precum. She was sure he would split her in half, not just due to his length, but his girth as well.
“Such an observant girl”, James smirked as he crawled back atop her, trailing soft open mouth kisses all up her torso.
“Please, Sergeant” was the only words Juniper could form.
James lifted his head up, “Look at me June”, his voice low and soft.
Juniper locked her gaze with him. “I’ve got you pretty girl, just relax.”
His hand cupped her face and she reached up to lace her fingers with his. He smiled softly.
"You ready for me?"
She bit her lip.
"What do you think?"
He exhaled and dipped his head to kiss her softly.
"I wanna hear it, gorgeous... I need to hear it." He paused, his voice low and rumbling as he peppered kisses along her cheekbone. "Tell me you need me."
Her heart pounded. It felt like it was lodged in her chest. She could almost swallow it as his hands roamed her body.
"I need you," she breathed.
James grinned, pride filling his face. He grabbed the base of his cock and slowly began to push himself into her. Juniper's breath hitched and caught in her chest as a deep, familiar sting filled her body. Her eyes closed, the tip of his cock buried inside of her. He stopped and kissed her forehead softly.
"You're okay," he soothed. "I gotcha."
"More," was all she could whimper. "Please, Sergeant."
He grinned, his forehead resting against hers as he pushed deeper inside of her, whining with her as she cried out. The sensation was electric, crawling down her spine and her toes pointed. Her muscles were taut, twitching.
"As you wish, princess." Finally, he bottomed out and she let out a ragged and raw cry as her back bowed. James grinned as she quivered around him. "Atta girl."
He pressed a sweet kiss to her lips as he lay still giving her a moment to adjust to him. Juniper brought her hand to his face, brushing the hair at his forehead softly as a content smile graced her lips.
“I’m okay, James. You can move.”
James smiled and took her bottom lip between his as he moved his vibranium hand to the small of her back, lifting her hips slightly as he pulled back and thrust back into her. She dragged her nails down his back as she relished in the way his hips rolled against hers his movement sure to leave bruises along her hipbones.
Juniper but down on her lip, holding back but James thumbed it free, “Come on pretty girl, sing for me.”
He thrust forwards harder the tip of his cock brushing past that sensitive place inside her making her moan.
“There we go, angel, found the right spot,” James grinned as he slowly pulled his hips back, dragging his dick along her walls before slamming back into her spot.
Juniper desperately grabbed James’ dog tags, swinging wildly from his neck, holding on as he began fucking her with deep, powerful strokes, moans and whimpers falling from her lips.
"James, oh my god" she breathed, her voice sounding so far away as he repeatedly hammered against her g-spot.
"No, just me darlin'," he smirked down at her.
His hips moved at a vicious but calculated pace that made her skin burn and ignite with goosebumps that trailed her entire body. James' mouth trailed along her jawline, down her neck nibbling on the sweet spot making her eyes roll back.
Every one of her senses felt overwhelmed. She could still taste him on her tongue, cinnamon and wood smoke filled her nostrils, the soft praises that spilled from his lips, the way his body felt under her fingertips and the way his hair stuck every which way, little tuffs sticking to his forehead from the sweat and his blown out pupils admiring every inch of her. Everything she was experiencing pushed her towards the edge, fueling the fire in her belly making her clench around him.
A sinful moan left his lips as his movements started to become erratic and quick paced. She knew that neither of them were going to be able to last much longer.
“Sergeant, please, I’m gonna come,” Juniper begged as her back arched more to take him as deep as she could.
“Fuck, what a good girl you are asking your sergeant for permission”, James growled into her ear as his metal hand slid between them and he began to roll her clit with his fingers.
The fire in the hearth had nothing on the fire resting in Juniper’s core. It continued to increase as James kept swirling her sensitive nub with his fingers and drove his cock as deep as he could to hit her g spot. Her head fell back, eyes slammed shut as she moaned using all the air in her lungs.
“That’s right Juniper, no one but me can hear you out here. It’s all for me. Come for me, beautiful. I wanna feel you can squeeze me.” James’ hip movements grew more erratic, chasing the high that waited, but his fingers worked steadily at her clit, the praise and permission sending her over the edge.
Juniper let out a sinful moan as the initial wave of her climax hit her, followed by a scream that emphasized just how intense her orgasm was running through her body.
“Fuck, you’re so fuckin’ tight. Been thinking of how perfect this pussy was ever since you spent 12 hours squirming in the car.” James’ words were as chaotic as his thrusts, but Juniper was in no state to stop him. As wave after wave of pleasure washed over her, all she could do was whisper “yes” again and again.
Finally with one last bruising thrust James coated juniper’s walls with his cum. “Oh FUCK”, James screamed to the ceiling. He slumped slightly to where his and Juniper’s forehead’s were touching, both panting to catch their breath. Juniper could feel their mixed arousal moving down her thighs and onto the cushions as James’ softened within her.
A small huff made its way through Juniper’s lips at the loss of him as he slipped out from her and pressed his back against the cushions under them. He pulled her body flush to his chest with his vibranium hand, her head falling against his shoulder as he dragged the fingers of his right hand lightly up and down her spine.
She focused her attention on the steady rise and fall his chest with every breath and the way his heartbeat felt against the palm of her hand, beating almost in sync with hers as he seemed to relish in the lingering sensations of their highs and the feel of her body against his as she did the feel of his against hers.
Juniper pushed herself up slightly, leaning her weight toward the leg she had slumped over his hips until she laid chest to chest with James. She peppered kisses across the freckles scattered along his chest before she placed both hands flat atop it to support her chin as she took in every inch of his face, committing his content look to memory.
A satisfied hum left James’ lips as he crossed her arms at her hips as if he was unwilling to let this moment go.
His eyes met hers and he threw a soft whispered “Hi” her way.
“Hi.” she giggled, her breaths steady now but her heart rate picking back up under his gaze.
“What’s going on in that pretty little head of yours, June?” he asked
“Just wondering,” she hesitated and he raised a brow slightly, urging her to continue, “I just- what were you thinking about me after you were ‘assigned’ to me? Honestly.”
James let out a chuckle, bringing his flesh hand up to brush a strand hair off her face before he responded,
“Well, I think still- that you’re an incredibly brave woman. Especially for willing to speak against what you saw, putting the wellbeing of other people above yours to make things right. I think that’s- you’re admirable Juniper. The world needs more people like you around.”
She felt tears well in her eyes at his words. It had been the worst thing she had ever witnessed, and she was scared out her mind to have to be in hiding after deciding to talk, but this is why she did it. To keep it from happening again and for however long she had to be holed up in this cabin because of it, she was grateful the universe had at least gifted her with James. She felt him shift under her weight as he brushed his thumb across her chin.
“Perfect” she whispered, placing a kiss to his lips before she laid back down and nuzzled her face into the crook of his neck.
Taste of Fate - AU Bucky Barnes x OC
warnings: civil war Bucky, strangers to lovers, ghosted date, smut, 18+
word count: 11.5k
The cold breeze nipped at Colette’s nose and blew her dark hair into her face as she walked down the busy New York street. Pulling her wool jacket tightly around herself, she made her way to the large brick building. A black sign with white writing told her she was in the right spot. The Brooklyn Kitchen was supposed to be one of the best cooking schools in the city, and it was an experience that Colette had always wanted to try.
She had been seeing Kyle for a few weeks and the two had originally bonded over their love of food. Kyle wasn’t exactly the normal type of guy that she would set herself up with, but that was what had intrigued her the most. She was stepping out of her comfort zone and still found things to bond with him over. He was sweet and not as pushy as she was used to from other guys. After their first date, Colette had mentioned doing this class and when he seemed just as excited as she was about it, it was booked.
A swarm of butterflies danced in her stomach as she pulled her bottom lip between her teeth and leaned herself against the brick wall as she waited. Looking down at her phone, she huffed out a sigh. 2:56 pm. No text messages or missed phone calls.
“He’s probably inside…” Colette mumbled to herself, as she spun and gripped the black metal door handle with her gloved hand and shuffled herself inside.
She pulled off her gloves and shoved them into her coat pockets before shedding it off her shoulders and placing it on one of the only empty hooks that still lined the wall. There were 6 counters that littered the brick room, and at each stood two people, except for one where a tall, muscular man stood by himself.
Her eyes traced his thick arms where a red Henley clung to his muscles, up to his long dark hair that was tucked under a black baseball hat. She caught a glimpse of his ocean blue eyes as they flickered to her over his shoulder.
But no sign of Kyle, as the clock hit 3 pm and the class was about to begin.
“Fuck this,” Colette muttered to herself and walked further into the room. She paused by the counter at the back, unsure where to go now.
She glanced around, noting the only empty workstation, and made her way over. Ingredients were piled up in a wicker basket, and next to it a Brooklyn Kitchen branded apron and a set of polished knives.
Colette quickly stored her things, surveying the room as she did. Most of the couples were set up already but the lone man was standing looking a little lost, his apron hung around his neck but was not tied and he was eyeing the knives cautiously. He must have sensed her eyes on him because the next moment he was looking right at her.
“Looks daunting doesn’t it?” She chuckled nervously, hoping he didn’t think she was rude for staring.
He offered a shy smile, his cheeks dusting pink as he glanced down at the knives in front of him.
"A little, yeah," he chuckled. "Never really done anything like this before."
She offered him a big, warm smile that made him smile in return. He was cute, bright blue eyes, high cheekbones, and soft stubble dusting his chin. His long hair fell loose, some strands falling in his face from the base of his hat that he quickly tucked behind his ear. The longer she stared at him, the more she was kind of grateful that Kyle wasn't coming.
"Well, you're in good company," she replied. "I'm pretty new to this too. We can be overwhelmed together."
The relief in his eyes was palpable as his smile got wider and he nodded. Colette tied up her own apron and he quickly followed suit. Before he could say another word, the door opened and someone who clearly looked like the instructor walked to the front of the room.
She was a bit shorter than Collette with a round face, greying hair tied back into a ponytail and soft features that had a look of wisdom to them, as she stood at the front of the room and gave everyone a quick once over before introducing herself with a warm smile.
"Hello, everyone. I'm Evelyn and I'm gonna be your guide in today's class."
“You all have an ingredients list in your baskets. I’d like you to check through first of all to make sure you’ve got everything.”
Colette took her list and started to pick through her basket when she heard muttering from the guy next to her.
“Everything OK?” She asked with an encouraging smile.
“What the hell is ch-chorizo?” He stammered at the unfamiliar word, a deep furrow forming between his brows.
Colette grinned and held up the dark red sausage, waving it slightly and giggling as his cheeks turned even pinker than before.
The corners of his mouth upturned slightly as they flickered from the sausage back to her making the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. God, he was cute. She watched as he found his own chorizo package and pulled it from the basket, waving it gently at her to signal he’d found it.
Colette tossed him a reassuring nod before turning back to her own basket. Glanced at the door, realizing that by now Kyle definitely wasn’t showing up.
“You,” a voice called drawing her attention to the small woman in the white coat, Evelyn reached her station with a raised brow, “you had a partner, no?”
It was Colette’s turn for pink cheeks as the instructor stared up at her, “uhm, yes but he… he is sick.”
The woman narrowed her eyes slightly before looking at the man next to her. Colette’s gaze followed, she could tell he was trying not to listen as he continued pulling things from his basket and inspecting them.
“You two will pair up.” Evelyn waved the two of them together.
Colette’s eyes went wide as the man froze both of them gawking at the woman.
There was a tiny flutter in her stomach- she chalked it up to nerves and balanced her hands on the edge of the counter. This will be fine. So what if Kyle stood her up? She could figure this out, she didn’t need-
“I’m sorry your friend didn’t show.”
Her new cooking partner’s words interrupted her spiraling thoughts. Her cheeks burned as they made eye contact, immediately drawn into the man’s soft, blue eyes. How did he-
He offered her a slightly pained smile. “You, uh, said some of that out loud.” Great, she thought. Already off to a great start.
She looked around the room, noticing a couple of questioning eyes on her before their attention went quickly back to their tasks again.
Evelyn cleared her throat. “Bans, right?” She looked at the confused man. “Get over here and continue with your list. We’ll get through the recipe together shortly,” With that, she made her way over to another couple.
Colette sighed and buried her face in her hands. Shame washed over her. She was here to have fun and learn, not to have a meltdown in the middle of-
“It’s Barnes actually. James Barnes. But you can call me Bucky.” She looked up from the sudden closeness of his voice.
He stood right next to her with an outstretched gloved hand with a warm smile on his lips, a hint of redness forming on his cheeks.
Colette took his hand and shook it. “Colette Grey” she smiled nervously at him. They stood there awkwardly for a few moments before she dropped his hand and turned back to the ingredients list double checking that they had everything needed for their dish.
"So you know why I'm here..." She swallowed tightly trying not to look back at him. She felt like all she could do was stare but his presence beside her was not something she could just ignore. His broad shoulder brushed against her as he leaned down and helped her with the ingredients.
"It's silly..." Bucky said quietly, handing her another package.
Colette breathed out a laugh and shook her head, nudging her small shoulder into his arm lightly, "As silly as getting stood up?" she questioned, turning her eyes back to him with a soft smile.
All her friends had told her that she could do better than Kyle. The man didn't even have a bed frame and owned 2 mugs that he just rinsed out the one time she'd gone to his house. Her friends certainly were going to get a kick out of this. Hopefully, she could soften the teasing by telling them about her new friend.
"I uh, it feels like I haven't cooked in 70 years..." he laughed softly, shooting her a crooked smile, "so I thought it'd be good to get out and try this..."
“Nothing silly about that,” Colette replied softly, “and hey, maybe with two of us, we’ll actually make something edible!”
“You say that but I haven’t cooked with half of these ingredients before, so it’s pretty much all on you.”
Bucky nudged her playfully as he spoke, the most relaxed smile on his face yet, and Colette felt her skin warm all the way from the tips of her ears. She was certain her whole face was pink when she glanced up at him next, soft eyes studying her only to be snapped away when the instructor clapped her hands at the front of the room.
"You'll want to make sure you follow the directions on the sheets I'm about to hand out! And working together is important!" The instructor looked directly at Bucky and his face turned bright red.
"You think she heard me?" He asked with a wink.
Colette couldn't help but collapse into giggles, and she looked up at him, his bright eyes sparkling as he smiled.
"How about this: Since we're both pretty much helpless, we help each other out. You can read me the directions and we'll try not to burn the place down. Teamwork."
Bucky bit his lip, nodding. That lip bite was going to kill her. She was so glad Kyle didn't show up today.
"Teamwork," he agreed.
"Let's do this!" She whisper-yelled as she rubbed her palms together in exasperated excitement which caused his mouth to turn up in a beautiful smile that had the corners of his eyes crinkling.
And if her heartbeat stuttered at the sight of that, it was nobody's business.
His mesmerizing blue eyes lingered on her unsure smile a little longer, as she started to occupy her hands so her mind wouldn't go wandering places that weren't appropriate in this setting. Especially around all these knives.
“Alright, everyone! Listen please!” Evelyn clapped, her voice commanding the attention of the room. “We’re going to work through the instruction sheet, you have a timer there if you need it, and if you get stuck just hold up your hand and I’ll come over.”
“Feel like I’m back in damn school,” Bucky grumbled, adjusting the straps on his apron.
Colette patted his arm reassuringly and then gestured to the sheet of paper in front of them.
“So partner, what’s first?”
She didn’t miss the smile that spread across his lips, giving a full view of the sharpness of his cheekbones as he leaned forward to read the list.
“Well, it says here to slice the chorizo into rounds.” He glanced up at her brows knitted together, “whatever that means.”
She chuckled softly, taking a peek at the couples near them watching as they sliced the sausage. Colette raised a finger, pointing at them, “I think something like that.”
Bucky turned to her and gave her a wide grin. He picked up one of the knives by the handle and twirled it in his hand between his fingers, so the blade of the knife spun dangerously close to the palm of his hand. Colette's eyes widened as she watched.
“I … thought you haven’t cooked all that much. Because that is some serious knife skills you’ve got their partner.” Colette said stunned
"Yeah old trick," he turned the blade over once more, the light reflected off the steel and twinkled in the dark rings of his blue eyes as he looked over at her.
"Where did you learn how to do that?" She asked as he positioned the chorizo under the blade awkwardly, "curl your fingers," she pointed to his hand, the blade dangerously close to his skin. She shook her head, rounding him and leaning over his arm, she wrapped her fingers over his and them out of the way of the knife. "Like that," she said, looking up to find his expression softened as he watched her.
“Uh, you know… Military.” Bucky fumbled, his face turning red though Colette couldn’t tell if it was from how her front pressed against his back as she guided him, or the fact that his answer was obviously vague to cover up the truth of his familiarity with blades.
Whatever it was, she could tell cooking was not the setting in which he had learned his skills and she giggled as Bucky looked around to the other pairs of cooks to see what thickness they were cutting the chorizo.
“That seems too big.” Colette smiled, as she pulled away from him once he got the hang of curling his fingers to protect them from the sharp edge.
“You got a problem with the size of my sausage?” Bucky asked, glancing at her from the corner of his eyes and Colette felt her whole body flush with warmth.
She burst out into giggles suddenly, earning a side-eye from the woman next to them and an eyebrow raise from Evelyn.
“Oh, Jesus. I definitely didn’t mean it like that,” Bucky mumbled, “sorry.”
“No, no. Don’t apologize! You just tapped right into my sense of humor.”
Bucky just nodded, his own cheeks a little rosy as he continued slicing the chorizo.
He was being super precise, and steady with the knife as he cut the sausage into neater, smaller pieces. Just as he was finishing up, Evelyn did that deafening hand clap again as she launched into discussing the fastest way to chop an onion.
They both listened as she demonstrated at the front of the class, dicing the onion so fast that Colette flinched a little and took a deep breath. She definitely felt out of her depth. She looked up at Bucky, grabbing the onion from the table.
"You wanna chop this?" She asked. "You handled that sausage pretty well."
He began to giggle, shaking his head.
"I'm never gonna live that down, am I?"
"Nope, sorry, bud. You're doomed to that humiliation forever."
"I thought we were partners. If you're gonna give me a hard time, you've at least gotta dice the onion." He elbowed her again. "See, I said dicing. I'm learning."
Colette's giggle began to mirror his.
"We are partners! I look pretty and read the directions, and you handle the knife stuff," she quipped.
Part of her just really wanted to see him flip that thing again. His cheeks flushed again as he rubbed the back of his neck, the tip of the knife pointed at the cutting board.
"Well, I think that jerk who stood you up is missing out on a great partner." His eyes met hers as he gently took the onion from her hand, their fingertips brushing before she heard him add, "Pretty one, too."
She felt heat flood her cheeks and down her neck at his words while little zaps of electricity traveled up her fingertips from their brief touch.
As her lower lip caught between her teeth, Colette couldn't stop herself from gazing into the clear blue of his eyes a second too long to be appropriate before turning away from him and hiding behind her curtain of hair.
"Tha— thank you," she stuttered shyly.
His cheeky smirk prevailed for a while longer before his attention diverted back to their instructor as demonstrated how to cut the onions.
“Dicing’s really small!” He exclaimed, gesturing with the knife toward where the instructor had demonstrated.
“You can do it, big guy. I have faith in you.”
Colette saw him square his shoulders at her words of encouragement and he attacked the onion with gusto, remembering to keep his fingers out of the way as she showed him.
“Get a load of you, Bucky! You could be on Masterchef!” She exclaimed with a bright chuckle.
Once again that adorable confused look crossed his face, and his chopping slowed, “Master—I don’t, what is a Masterchef?”
Colette stared up at him for a moment something about the curiosity and confusion in his voice softened her smile. “It’s a TV show.” She said quietly.
His eyes widened for a moment, an awkward chuckle leaving his lips as the air between them grew thick, “oh—I uh don’t watch very much TV.”
Bucky cleared his throat and continued chopping the rest of the onion. “Well,” Colette started softly. She decided to take a different approach, and she lowered her eyes to the list in front of them.
“While I figure out what pans we need, why don’t you…” her voice trailed off. She glanced in his direction, still not making eye contact, as she heard his chopping slow once again.
“Why don’t you tell me how you like to spend your time? Since you’re obviously not watching TV.” She finally made eye contact and flashed him a small grin. As his eyes widened, she was pretty sure she felt her knees knock against each other.
"I could get used to this," he gave her a tight smile.
"To cutting onions?" Colette giggled, she gave his arm a squeeze.
"Well, more so cutting onions with a pretty sous chef," he said, watching her intently and waiting for her reaction.
Colette felt herself blush violently making a list of activities that she could take Bucky to do to help him discover more of what he liked. She quickly shook the thought from her mind, embarrassed with herself for trying to make plans with an absolute stranger, though he was admittedly a very cute stranger.
But something in her wanted to see that gorgeous smile and those magnetic blue eyes well after the cooking class ended.
She didn’t say anything about it though, just looked down at the instructions on the paper, trying to figure out what they needed to do next.
“Alright!” Colette and Bucky both jumped as Evelyn suddenly spoke. “Everyone should be done with the onion, onto cutting the chicken! You want to make sure they’re nicely cubed, gives a more even cook.” She demonstrated quickly and then gestured at everyone to do the same.
Colette glanced up at Bucky, getting caught in his blue eyes for a moment.
“Um, okay so, cubes. How hard can that be?” she asked, grinning when Bucky straightened up, chest partially puffed.
“Easy as pie,” he said and grabbed a chicken breast. It slipped out of his hand and smacked onto the counter. “This shit’s slimmer than I remember,” he said as Colette giggled.
“Yeah, it’s pretty gross. I’m actually glad she put me with you because I think I would have just given up at this point otherwise. You’d have to pay me a lot of money to touch that,” she remarked, the end of her sentence giving way to a squeal as Bucky wiggled his slimy fingers in her face.
Bucky laughed as she jumped back, his nose scrunching as the joyful sound filled the kitchen space. It was gorgeous, rich, and deep, and when he snorted at the end, Colette fell into giggles all over again.
Somewhere in the room, someone shushed them and Bucky rolled his eyes.
“Maybe it was a bad idea putting us together, I think we’ve been branded the troublemakers.”
“Story of my life,” Colette replied.
“And it seems like getting paired with troublemakers is the story of mine.”
"You're a troublemaker?" She asked, a teasing edge to her voice.
He grinned, slightly bashful as they worked. Every time his eyes met hers, she melted. She couldn't stop smiling. Or giggling. Something about him just reduced her to a complete puddle. Colette didn't want this class to end.
"Just a little. I think it's why we work so well together."
“You should be cooking now,” Evelyn sang, with a pointed look in their direction.
“Shit, Sweetheart, I think we gotta get some of this stuff in the pan!” Bucky exclaimed.
Colette threw him a mocking grimace and scraped the sliced chorizo into the wide-bottomed frying pan, turning the heat on medium as the instructions suggested. She was definitely ignoring the extra flash of heat that rippled through her when he called her sweetheart.
“Low and slow people!” Evelyn all but shouted as she walked between stations, eyeing the pans, “we don’t need any fires starting.”
The pan sizzled as the chorizo began to smoke. The smell wafting between them made her stomach growl softly.
She caught his gaze out of the corner of her eye as she cleared her throat with an awkward grin.
“When was the last time you ate?” He asked.
Colette eyed him at the question. It was blunt and almost accusing.
Bucky must have caught on to her confusion as he shook his head, “no, that’s not I just meant, your stomach growled.” He said shyly.
Colette would normally have been embarrassed, but something about this broad-shouldered softy put her at ease. “How did you possibly hear that?” she asked with a laugh.
The spicy smells wafted around them as he smiled, his nose crinkling slightly. He grabbed a wooden spoon from the counter and handed it to her. “You stir,” he said, his smile softening.
He looked down at her, his eyes falling to her lips for a split second before meeting her gaze once more. Colette felt her stomach lurch with an entirely different type of hunger. “And maybe,” his voice was lower now, “we can go grab a cup of coffee and a snack after class.”
“A snack?” She smirked, “I know this cute little cafe with all the best desserts,” she began to ramble as she stirred the food so it didn’t burn. She looked up at him expecting to find him watching the food as she had been but he was staring at her. Heat licked at the back of her neck, “of course, we’ll have to get one of each.”
“Of course,” he smiled, his tongue darted over his bottom lip. “How can I figure out what I like if we don’t,” he replied.
Colette’s mind was racing with a million ways they could figure that out, her cheeks began to burn from the amount of blushing she had been doing, and to keep herself from absolutely melting she shifted her focus back to the pan.
The oil had begun to seep out of the chorizo and Bucky was still cubing the rest of the chicken so she scooped up the onions he had chopped earlier, adding them to the pan which hissed and sizzled. A cloud of smoke wafted up from the pan, stinging her eyes more than she had anticipated, causing them to water and her belly to grumble again because despite the pain the food still smelled really good.
“Oh gosh,” Colette cringed, squeezing her eyes shut as they began to burn more.
“Shoot.” She heard Bucky say, the sink at their station turning on telling her that he was washing his hands before she knew it, there were large warm palms on her face.
Bucky was holding her cheeks and he told her not to move as he blew on her eyes to stop the stinging; it was a gentle, yet firm action, and damn did it feel nice.
Her chocolate brown eyes fluttered open to meet his ocean blue ones, and a soft smile graced his lips, as his thumb swiped away the one tear that escaped down her cheek.
"You okay?" Bucky spoke softly, keeping her face in his hands.
His callouses were rough against her skin, but it was countered by how soft his touch was. Every nerve in Colette's body ignited as a blush crept up her neck. Suddenly every morsel of her thoughts about Kyle rushed out of her head and was replaced with her new blue-eyed cooking partner who had managed to be more of a gentleman to her in the hour and a half of them knowing each other than Kyle had been in the last few weeks.
Colette cleared her throat, and nodded slowly, keeping her eyes locked with his, "much better, thank you..." she whispered.
“Anytime doll,” Bucky replied lowly, his hands slowly falling away from her face, fingertips lingering, leaving a tingling in their wake. Colette shivered and looked down, gasping as she remembered the food. She turned down the stove, the pan smoking slightly.
They salvaged it, Bucky tossing in the chicken once the onions were softened and Colette took over chopping veggies and prepping the rice.
“Look at us! Cookin’ like pros now, sweetheart!” Bucky grinned and it took everything in Colette not to do something stupid like kiss the stranger turned cooking partner that she was definitely crushing on.
Their coffee date was motivating her to get through the last of this cooking class. So until then, she stuck close to Bucky, hands brushing every so often as they both reached to stir or taste, and she hoped the spark she felt every time wasn’t one-sided.
As they cooked, Bucky glanced down at her.
"You wanna team up to do the dishes?" He asked.
She grinned, her mind still miles away, daydreaming of having coffee with him. Colette could picture it all in her mind clear as day. She even knew the perfect spot to take him. There was a cozy cafe around the corner where she liked to go to read sometimes.
"It's a date-- I mean, uh... yeah..." Her cheeks reddened and Bucky smirked at her.
"I thought coffee was a date, but if you wanna pack dishes in there, too, I think we can make that work."
Her stomach fluttered and he reached out one more time, swiping something off of her cheek. This man was getting bold. This little spark was definitely mutual.
"You had an eyelash," he breathed.
Suds landed perfectly onto the top of his nose rendering him speechless. Colette bit her lip watching as a wolfish grin spread across his cheeks.
“Oh you’re in for it now,” he lurched towards her, scooping up a small pile of suds with two fingers before swiping it across her own nose. Giggles ensued as she gasped up at him.
Colette couldn’t help but scoff, grabbing the metal take-out containers for their food and chucking them at him which only made Evelyn give her another glare before she turned on swift heels to check on the other cooks.
“Sweetheart, you keep acting like that and we’ll never be allowed to take another cooking class in this town again.” Bucky grinned at her, those cute laugh lines hiding under his stubble causing her heart to fly.
Colette bit back another smile, taking the containers she'd thrown and him back and swiftly packing their food to go though she had desperately wanted to start digging in because of how hungry she was.
Dessert and coffee were calling her though and so was the smile plastered across Bucky's face.
The two of them thanked the teacher, and giggled through an apology for their trouble, before retrieving their jackets from the hooks and heading back out into the cold February air. As they walk, their hands brushed together, and Colette pulled her bottom lip between her teeth. All she wanted to do was link their fingers together but she wasn't sure at that moment if it'd be too forward.
"The uh, the cafe is only a couple of blocks away," she softly smiled up at him, nervously tapping her fingers against the side of the food container as she held it close to her body.
She took note of how out here, Bucky seemed tenser than he had in class. His eyes darted around the street and flickered down to her every once in a while.
"Hey, are you okay?" she asked, nudging her elbow lightly into his arm.
"What?" Bucky's head turned to look at her, clearing his throat and nodding once, "Ye-yeah, everything is fine. Just - looking forward to the desert."
“Mmm, me too!” Colette replied happily, brushing off the moment with a soft smile which Bucky seemed to appreciate. “They do the best lemon meringue pie and a bunch of chocolate options too if that’s more your thing.”
She glanced up to see Bucky looking down at her fondly.
“Oh nothing,” he chuckled, “you’re just a breath of fresh air that I didn’t know I needed.”
Without prompting, Bucky’s pinky caught Colette’s, his hand sliding into hers effortlessly and like that’s where it had always belonged. This man knew what he was doing, the smirk on his lips not quite hidden by the lingering shyness in his eyes.
The two of them walked to the coffee shop, the sun still shining as they move through crowds of people. She could feel his eyes on her the entire time, her entire body heating up beneath the weight of his gaze. Colette finally mustered up the courage to glance back up at him.
"You like to stare, huh?"
He blushed immediately and began to stammer.
"I-- uh... do you... not like it?"
She smiled as she squeezed her hand.
"I never said that, just an observation."
He grinned and gave her hand a little squeeze back. She was surprised that he was so gentle considering how much bigger he was than her. Colette had to push aside thoughts of his Herculean frame pressing her against a wall, his mouth on hers. She cleared her throat.
"You sure blush a lot when I look at you."
"Do you not like that?"
"I never said that just an observation," he replied with a flirtatious grin.
Colette returned the grin shaking her head, “in all fairness I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who stares at me so much.”
Bucky’s gaze met hers, sparkling blue eyes glistened down at her. “In all fairness, you deserve to have someone stare at you.”
She cocked a brow biting her lip as his words finally registered, making him grimace.
“That sounded way creepier than intended,” he breathed out a laugh before pausing for a moment “you’re just the prettiest girl I’ve gotten the courage to talk to in a long time and I meant what I said earlier about your friend standing you up. He is an idiot.”
“Most men born this century are no offense,” she quipped.
“None taken,” he smirked at her, fixing his hat on his head. She had an inkling Bucky was full of secrets he was just waiting to share with the right person.
Colette slowed her steps as they reached the stop and before she could get the door Bucky opened it for her. “Thank you,” she whispered sliding past him.
The cafe smelled like heaven and Colette couldn’t help but do a small happy hop as she thought about the many sweet treats she could potentially shove in her face but also screaming at herself in her head when she found herself considering what Bucky’s lips would taste like.
Everything about him was just so comforting though, the wave of butterflies in her stomach had been fluttering uncontrollably for some time now and she was sure that if she had decided to dramatically throw herself at him and pretend to faint like a damsel that Bucky would catch her in his strong arms and let out the most beautiful laugh in the process for her acting so silly.
She settled on getting a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream and a caramel drizzle… You know, just in case he decided to kiss her.
Bucky ordered a strawberry cheesecake, and the two carried their treats to a small table tucked in the corner by the windows.
"I - I have to be honest here, I haven't been on a first date in... a really long time," Bucky admitted as they sat down.
Colette cocked her eyebrow as a grin formed on her lips, "Date huh?" she questioned.
His eyes widened, and he brought his gloved hand up to rub the back of his neck, "I mean, I - sorry, I shouldn't assume anything... I -"
"Bucky!" She interrupted, with a giggle, "I was kidding, I would love if this was a date"
He let out a breath, the smile appearing back on his face, "you are trouble."
“It’s my middle name,” she grinned, taking a spoonful of her dessert and placing it between her lips. Her eyes fluttered shut as she tasted everything. “Oh my god, this is amazing!”
Bucky’s laugh choked off and she opened her eyes, meeting his, a little darker than before as he stared at her. Right at her lips, she noticed with a small smile.
“See something you like?” she asked slyly, and Bucky blinked back to awareness.
"I don't stand a chance against you, do I?" He chuckled, shaking his head.
"You say that like it's a bad thing," Colette replied as she took another bite and then pushed her brownie toward him. "Here, try some."
He looked flustered. Maybe the sugar would take his mind off of it. She offered Bucky her spoon and he took a small bite, his eyes widening as he smiled and nodded his head. Colette noticed a little speck of caramel on his lip, and couldn't help herself. Before she knew it, she was reaching out and wiping it away with her thumb. She let it linger on his mouth for just a second before Bucky's mouth dropped open, that darkness returning to his eyes.
"Sorry," she murmured, wiping her thumb on a napkin. "I got a little... carried away."
He grinned. The spark between them was instantaneous. She knew nothing about this man and yet she was comfortable enough to wipe caramel off of his fucking lip. What the hell had gotten into her? Heat flooded her whole body.
"I wouldn't say that." He paused for a moment, his eyes studying her face, lips curling into a soft smile. "You're real pretty when you're flustered, though."
“If you don’t stop saying nice things to me I might have to take you home,” she teased.
“Maybe that was my plan all along,” he took another bite. “Play dumb, flash a smile. Charm the gorgeous sad girl.”
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t charmed,” she smiled. “You’re very smooth Bucky Barnes.”
“I haven’t heard that in a long time angel,” he looked up at her through his heavy lashes with a soft smirk on his face.
“I haven’t had someone flirt with me so much in a long time.” She said and for some reason she forgot to smile, her mind wandering to all jerks who had stood her up over the years.
“Don’t do that,” Bucky said, his brows furrowing as he shook his head.
“Do what?” Colette asked, unsure of what she’d done.
“Frown. You break my heart when you do that," he said and she hadn’t even noticed his hand had reached out across the table, his fingers searching for hers.
Colette let their fingers curl together and Bucky took her hand with a smile, bringing her knuckles to his lips before gently kissing them.
“Only smiles from here on out sweetheart.” Bucky grinned and she melted faster than the ice cream on her plate.
"Well, if you keep talking like that, I think I can agree to those terms," Colette chuckled, pulling her spoon between her lips as she watched Bucky for a moment.
The conversation flowed from there, Bucky asking her questions about what she did, and some of her favorite things. The two enjoyed their desserts as much as they enjoyed each other's company. Laughter echoed through the cafe as Colette watched Bucky relax and come alive in front of her eyes.
"The last date I went on was... with a girl named Bonnie, or was it, Connie?" He questioned, licking the last of the strawberry jam from his spoon. "Anyway, we went to this expo and... actually, she kind of looked like you a little bit" Bucky smirked, tilting his head to the left, "anyway, it didn't work out..."
Colette laughed, and cocked an eyebrow, "What do you mean she looked like me?"
"Not exactly! And no in a bad way I promise, I think it's just," He thought for a second, "I have a thing for brunettes, that's all" he answered, laughing awkwardly.
"Ah, gotcha," she tsked, swiping her tongue along her bottom lip, "Well I have to admit I am a little glad it didn't work out with Bonnie... Or Connie." She teased.
"Yeah, me too, actually." He looked up at her. "I don't think it would have worked out anyway."
"Yeah? How come?"
He shrugged and looked a little sad.
Colette gently tapped his foot underneath the table.
"Hey, you said smiles from here on out, mister."
His laughter was the best thing in the world. A little raspy and his eyes crinkled at the edges when he did it. Sometimes, his nose scrunched up. She really liked that part.
"Right, gotta take my own advice, huh?" He sighed and bit his lip. "Thanks for being my partner today."
He really meant it. It wasn't just a ploy to get in her pants, even though, she definitely wouldn't say no to that.
"Any time, Bucky. Thanks for being mine."
"Any time, doll."
“Even if I do get you almost kicked out of class?” She laughed setting her spoon down.
Her eyes met his when he didn’t answer, the light dusting of pink now returning under the light shade of stubble. “Especially so.”
Colette’s smile faded for a brief moment. God, he was sweet and he seemed to like her loudness and the way her laugh would quickly turn into a cackle. Not once did he tell her to quiet down or seem like he was embarrassed to be with her. He was her breath of fresh air.
She cleared her throat realizing she had been quiet for entirely too long, “well, should we uh-get going?” Colette stammered as Bucky let out a soft chuckle.
“Sure Darlin, let’s go.”
They made their way outside, Bucky once again held the door open for her as she tucked the food containers under her arm. Stepping aside she brushed against the brick building. She heard him toss a thanks back to the girls behind the counter before stepping onto the sidewalk offering his hand for her to take and without hesitation her fingers intertwined into his.
He smiled down at her, their eyes meeting for a moment before he reached up, brushing back the bangs that had fallen out of place. Electricity crackled through her as his fingertips brushed her skin causing her to suck in a breath, watching as his eyes darkened.
“Colette,” he breathed softly, “I’d really like to kiss you now.” His fingertips lingered on her skin, “would that be okay?”
Her cheeks flushed under his touch, so delicate across her skin as they hooked behind her ear and his palm rested against her cheek. His eyes ghosted over her features, his throat bobbing as they studied her lips patiently waiting for an answer.
"I thought you would never ask," she cooed, barely able to breathe as she wrapped a single hand into the collar of his shirt.
He gently guided her chin upward, the world growing quiet around them as he took her bottom lip between his and kissed her better than she had ever been kissed before. She stifled an embarrassing moan that threatened to ruin the moment as she tugged him closer, chasing the taste of salty-sweet cheesecake that lingered on his tongue.
The tingling sensation that began to work its way from her toes to her heart was almost too much and Colette couldn’t help but fall back into the brick, bringing Bucky with her as she did.
She just needed to feel him pressed against her, to be sandwiched in her desire and she brazenly let her own tongue run across his bottom lip but just as she did she felt Bucky pull away hesitantly. He was bright red, blush nipping at his ears and he tried to vocalize something but he seemed to be absolutely failing.
“Was that too much?” Colette asked nervously, kicking herself for always being just a bit too bold.
“N-no… No that was great. I just- I um… I think we’re blocking traffic.” Bucky said as the door to the cafe opened next to them, practically swinging into Bucky’s side as people tried to exit.
Colette giggled and curled her fingers lightly into the fabric of his shirt. Her eyes flickered down the street before returning to Bucky. Every nerve in her body was on fire, and she didn't want to say goodbye to him just yet.
"Ok look, this is going to sound a little forward, but I promise I don't mean it the way it sounds," she smiled at him, and looked down the street again, " I only live a couple of blocks away, do you want to come over? Have a drink, and maybe actually eat some of the food we cooked earlier."
Bucky swallowed thickly and traced her features with his eyes, "I um, I - yeah, I would like that"
Going up on her tiptoes, she placed a soft kiss on Bucky's lips, pulling back with a smirk as she moved to intertwine their fingers once more, "Sorry... I couldn't resist"
“Never apologize for that darlin’,” Bucky murmured, the light, faded flush on his cheeks returning. Colette grinned at him and started walking in the direction of her place. Their hands swung gently between them as they strolled the sidewalks and into her apartment.
“Why don’t we get these in the kitchen, get plates and silverware?” Colette said as she led them down the hallway.
Bucky followed her. He was quiet, and she glanced over his shoulder to see him looking at some of the pictures she had hung on the walls. Old friends from college, her parents, and a couple of pictures of her with some ex-boyfriends. She kept those ones up because she looked really good in them. Over time, her eye just stopped landing on the guy next to her, it was like he faded into the background. Bucky stopped in front of one and Colette smirked.
"Don't go getting jealous, gorgeous."
He grinned and shook his head.
"Not my style, doll. You look pretty in this one."
She knew exactly what picture he was pointing at. It was from a friend's wedding a summer back. She paid a lot of money for that dress and no way was she going to be the only one to see how good she looked in it. In fact, it was still hanging in her closet. Maybe she'd wear it for Bucky if they got a second date.
"Yeah, that's the reason it's still up," she quipped, winking at him. He laughed and she beckoned him into the kitchen. "Come on, handsome. There's food to eat."
She held out her hand and he gently grasped it, bringing it up so that he could press his lips against her knuckles. Colette blushed furiously.
"You don't stand a chance against me?" She teased, trying to keep her composure. "I don't think I stand a chance against you."
"Good," he breathed. "We're on equal footing then."
She grinned, “I don’t know about that, keep calling me pretty and biting that lip of yours I may just fall in—“ Colette stopped herself before the word vomit became too much.
Bucky tugged on her hand gently, pulling her back towards him. Dinner or.. after dessert dinner could wait. She bit her lip feeling his hand wrap around her waist pulling her to him. Her chest heaved against his and she was sure that he could feel her heart trying to escape out of her rib cage.
He reached up to press his thumb against her bottom lip, gently pulling it free. “Ditto sweetheart.”
He looked at her like he was tempted to steal another kiss from her lips as he leaned in and hovered over her. As his lips parted she closed her eyes, waiting to be graced yet again in such a short period but instead she felt his breath on her ear, "do you have forks?" He asked.
She pulled back, her brows knitting together in confusion, "That was mean," she pouted.
"Food first, then kissing," he mused, his lips tickling her cheek. "I can't kiss you when you haven't been fed properly, it'll weigh on my conscience," He narrowed his pretty blue eyes on her the second she opened her lips to argue, "and the brownie doesn't count."
"As long as you promise," she said, tempted to take a kiss regardless of his silly declaration.
"Oh darling, that's a promise I won't break," his eyes flickered to her lips.
Colette grumbled, the lust coursing through her burning but she turned around quickly, yanking open one of her kitchen drawers and removing two forks which she placed on the counter much more aggressively than she meant to.
She could hear Bucky chuckling behind her and oh goodness how she wanted to swallow each one like it was medicine. Her body broke out in goosebumps when she felt him place a gentle hand on the small of her back as he moved to stand behind her while she opened up the food containers.
Somehow the contents were still pipping hot and Bucky wasted no time, grabbing one of the forks and scooping up the tasty-smelling food. Colette was caught off guard when he held it up to her mouth.
Honestly, she almost passed out from sheer frustration and exasperation when he gave her a devious grin and huskily said “Open up sweetheart.”
Cocking an eyebrow, Colette kept her dark eyes locked with Bucky's as she took the fork between her lips, a low moan escaping her chest. Two could play at this game. If he was going to leave her frustrated in her own house, she could make him feel just as frustrated.
Bucky's tongue swiped across his bottom lip as she watched as his throat bobbed. A fire ignited in her belly and pressed forward to ghost her lips over his with a smirk playing at the corners of her mouth.
"I really think dinner can wait until later..." She whispered, brushing their noses together before she hooked a finger in the collar of his shirt, and turned slightly so her body was flush with his.
"Colette I - ..." Bucky stuttered quietly, tracing his deep blue eyes over her features and watching the way her chest heaved with her breath.
She shook her head and pressed her back into the counter, pulling Bucky into her, "Bucky, please..." she whispered again, pressing her lips to the edge of his jaw as he placed one hand beside her and tucked his other under the hem of her shirt gripping lightly into her skin.
Colette was desperate to feel his skin against hers, but he still had his gloves on.
“You wanna take those off?” she asked softly, flicking her eyes up at his hand by her head.
Bucky grimaced and pulled back from her, standing straight. “Colette, there’s something you should know,” he started, pulling off one glove and then the other revealing a mismatched set of hands, one flesh and one metal.
Her eyes widened and Bucky stared at her, his leather gloves balled up in one hand. She didn’t really know what to think, her eyes focused on the metal hand glinting beneath the light. But when her gaze landed on his, that’s when the gravity of the situation began to settle in. He looked terrified, his pulse racing in his throat, and the grip on his gloves getting tighter. Slowly, she reached for them and he let her pry them from his hands. Colette set them down on the counter behind her.
“Don’t need ‘em here.”
Bucky didn’t look convinced, it was like he was waiting for some other shoe to drop. She grasped his metal hand, surprised when he let her turn it over. Slowly, she began to trace the lines and ridges, staring up at him.
“I’m not afraid if that’s what you’re worried about.”
His eyes brimmed with tears and she brought his palm up to rest against her cheek, kissing his metal wrist. He looked like he needed more reassurance, more kindness, more something. That was easy for her.
“I promise, Bucky.”
She let out a breath that she hadn't realized he was holding as bright blue eyes searched her features. His cool metal thumb began to rub small circles over her cheek, sending sparks shooting through her nerves. Bucky leaned forward, pressing his forehead to hers as his eyes slid closed.
"I don't know who blessed me enough to stumble upon you today but--" he lifted his head again, tilting it slightly to catch her gaze, "I'm happy they did."
She linked her fingers with the metal ones still pressed against her cheek as she leaned into his touch.
"Ditto," Colette whispered back, breathless and wanting every part of him no matter the scars or the pain. She'd embrace it all because even though they just met, a part of her guessed he'd do the same for her.
Bucky took a deep breath and she watched as the metal in his arm clicked and shifted almost as if it was alive. “Thank you,” he whispered.
“I didn’t do anything,” she licked her bottom lip.
“You’ve done a lot more for me in the last five minutes than I can properly explain,” he swallowed tightly.
“How about you show me,” she urged him, knowing that he needed the space to work around whatever barriers he had put up around himself but needing more of the touch that he had been so hesitant with.
A soft curve formed on his lips and he ducked down just enough to scoop her up around his waist, Colette nearly squealed from the movement, his fingers gentle as he set her carefully atop the counter. He kissed her again, slowly this time, chasing the spark that fizzled and popped every time they connected. She leaned into his hold, his hands curving around her lower back and pressing curiously into the exposed skin beneath her shirt.
Colette had never felt as needy as she did that day, wanting to feel Bucky’s lip on hers again but she moved more gently than she had before, sensing trepidation in him still. She leaned in close to him, rubbing her nose against his, licking her lips, and pressing a soft but firm kiss on him. Bucky sighed heavily into it, humming as he did.
His warm fingers ran up her spine under the fabric of her shirt while his cool metal hand wandered up her side, treading ever so close to her chest but never actually touching it causing her to whine. Colette could feel him smiling against her lips, kissing her deeply as he did, tongue sliding into her mouth so effortlessly.
He still tasted like strawberry cheesecake and she wanted to savor him just as much as he was savoring her. She slid her hands under his shirt, blindly mapping every muscle of his abdomen and chest, fingers tracing over scars she had no doubt he hated. Bucky pulled away just a little when she grazed the skin around his shoulder and she quickly broke their kiss, shushing him gently and pulling him closer.
“You’re gorgeous I swear.” She whispered to him, kissing him softly.
With that, she gripped the hem of his Henley and helped him pull it over his head, leaving it in a puddle on the floor with his hat. Colette pressed her lips to his chest and ghosted them over his skin, landing small, soft kisses along the jagged edge of his shoulder where metal met skin.
Her fingers lightly danced over the muscles on his abdomen tracing every dip and bump she could find. She could feel Bucky's breath quicken and the grip he held on her thighs tighten as a low moan dripped from his mouth, causing her to smirk into his skin.
Moving from the counter, Colette looped her fingers into the belt loops of his jeans and gently tugged him towards an open door in the hallway.
"Colette, I don't want you to think that I -" He whispered, but allowed himself to be pulled along with her, keeping his eyes on hers.
She shook her head, "I don't"
"But I just - "
Colette halted in the doorway, and stood up tall to capture his lips with hers once more, "Bucky, my sweet boy, let me show you beautiful you are to me..." She spoke quietly, before pulling her own shirt over her head as she slowly walked back into her room.
He followed like he was in a trance, watching her as she undid her jeans, letting them fall to the floor as she sat on the edge of her bed. Bucky stopped in front of her and she tugged on his belt loops again until he was in between her legs.
“Can I?” Colette asked her hands on Bucky’s waistband.
He nodded then rasped out a quiet “Yes, please.” Colette smiled at him, undoing the button and slowly pulling the zipper. She helped his jeans slide to the floor then she leaned in eyes on his still and pressed a kiss to his cloth covered dick. Bucky let out a strangled sound, his eyes were dark and desperate.
Colette pulled back, taking his metal hand as she slid back on the mattress, Bucky climbing on, following her lead until he was laying propped up on the pillows, with her straddling him.
She watched his breath hitch in his chest and his throat bobbed. Colette’s fingers gently grazed his jawline and he melted into her touch, but anxiety lingered. Muscles were coiled beneath her, his entire massive body tensing.
Colette had the feeling that nobody had been gentle with him like this for a long time. She leaned forward, placing kiss after kiss along his jaw, down his neck, and along his collarbones until her lips met gnarled and scarred flesh that sat next to metal. Whatever hurt him, whatever did this, she just wanted to make it go away.
Beneath her, Bucky twitched and she fought back tears, swallowing the lump that was growing in her throat.
“Colette,” he rasped, his voice crushed beneath the weight of the secrets she knew were buried beneath muscle, bone, and metal. Colette had a feeling they were bad. She wanted to make him forget for a while.
She lifted her head, her eyes meeting his blue ones that were glossy with tears. Just like her own. She smiled through them.
“Bucky, I don’t know who hurt you, but I promise I won’t.” She paused. “Do you believe me?”
He nodded, the tears in his eyes finally spilling over and rolling down his temples. Colette kissed them away before pressing her lips to his forehead.
“I’ve got you,” she whispered.
She kept repeating that as she kissed both his cheeks and the dimple in his chin, "I've got you, Bucky" following almost every kiss she laid on his skin, wanting to help assure him and calm him down.
She kept her weight lifted a little off his lower body so he wouldn't be overwhelmed even though every fiber of her body wanted to feel connected to his but, as he trembled under her lips, she only thought about him and hoped that she could show him how beautiful he was and turn the nerves to pleasure.
Her lips pressed under his ears, taking pride in the shuddering breath that left his lungs and how his hands had drifted to her thighs and his grip tightened for a moment before loosening.
"I want to touch you, Bucky," she breathed. Her warm breath was so close to his ear that she saw goosebumps raise on his skin.
"I want to show you exactly how I feel about you," she begged, a whimper escaping him at her words.
"About all of this," she finished as her hands drifted up his abdomen over his scars and to the marred skin of his shoulder.
His breath shuddered again, eyes sliding closed as her roaming hands paused.
“I want to—“ he whispered making her sit up a bit, “but—“
She rested her hands against his cheeks, urging him to open his eyes to look at her, and when he finally did she could feel her heart begin to shatter at the broken and scared look lurking beneath the sharp angles of his stubbled jaw.
“It’s just been a long time,” he admitted and knew it wasn’t the whole truth but the last thing she wanted to do was load him down with questions.
Tears welled in her eyes again as he reached up to push back the hair that had fallen in her face, “we’ll go as slow as you need.” She whispered, “and if you say stop, we stop.”
His hand slowly wrapped around the back of her neck sending fireworks shooting along her spine.
“I want this.” He breathed, sounding as if he was trying to encourage himself. Bright blue eyes met hers again, “slow?”
Colette smiled warmly leaning into him, “slow.” She repeated before he pulled her into him, lips slotting perfectly against the others as the courage she had been hoping he would regain slowly filled him again.
She let him explore her skin as they kissed, slowly sinking into his warm curves as if she had always belonged to him. She gave him the freedom to control the pace hoping it would help him regain whatever confidence had been stolen from him.
She stifled a soft moan as his cool metal fingers flickered beneath the strap of her bra, tugging it gently over her shoulder. He pulled from her lips, peppering the untouched skin of her collarbone and shoulder as he worked the other strap down.
“You smell so good,” he said, his lips hovering over the swell of her breasts. She sat back, letting the light that cracked through the closed curtains cast over her as his fingers ghosted over the lace of her bra tracing the streak of sun that draped over her down the plane of her stomach to her belly button.
He swallowed tightly, “I have seen every dark corner of the world, but never have I been so blessed by a view as I am right now.”
Colette nearly sobbed, fighting not to wrap herself up and hide from sheer embarrassment. She chewed on her lip as his finger traced a line back up to the cups of her breast. She reached behind her and unhooked the clasp letting it fall loose into his hands.
She whimpered quietly as Bucky’s hands traced the edge of her panties.
“Colette, can I- I want to taste you,” Bucky mumbled, their lips still attached until she pulled away, nodding quickly.
“Please, Bucky if you’re sure-“ She cut off as Bucky carefully flipped them over, sliding down her body, panties following and off her legs.
Bucky bit his lip and groaned as he bent forwards, inhaling deeply. “No idea how much I want this,” he grunted and pressed a kiss to her inner thigh before licking a stripe up her folds.
“Fuck!” Colette cried, one hand flying to Bucky’s head, burying in his hair and holding on as her other slapped up and hit the wall behind her.
Her head pressed back into her pillow as she felt his big hands wrap around her upper thighs and grip them tighter, pushing them wider to get more access.
The tip of his tongue traced around her bundle of nerves lightly eliciting a deep moan from the depths of her throat as her legs started to shake in his hold. He'd barely touched her and she was reduced to a puddle of moans in response to his exploring tongue.
"Oh my— fuck!" Colette's moan turned to a shout as his tongue slipped inside her wet folds, burrowing deeper as his electric eyes connected with her barely open ones.
The groan that left him at the sight of her pleasure-wrecked body coursed through her pussy and sent waves of pleasure up her body.
Colette's hand moved to grip the fabric of the pillow beside her, as her back arched and pushed her hips further into Bucky's face. If this was his skill level out of practice, she knew she was certainly in for a ride the next time.
"God Bucky -" She rasped, her words getting broken off by a whine as he slipped a finger inside her, curling it against her G-spot.
A jolt of pleasure shot up her spine as he hummed against her clit, taking it between his teeth and sucking. She could see him grinding his hips into the mattress desperate for some pleasure of his own and she needed him almost as much.
She reached down and tugged his hand up, getting his attention as she pulled his mouth back to hers, tasting herself on his tongue, "I need you.." She breathed against his lips, "if you're ready for that..."
Bucky’s chest heaved as he stared down at her, his blue eyes watching her cautiously, before nodding his head slowly, "please," he groaned in response, kissing her once more as he shoved his boxers down his legs and kicked them off into the room somewhere.
He centered himself between her legs and let out a deep breath as he leaned his forehead against hers, "are you okay?" he spoke quietly.
"I was just going to ask you that question..." Colette softly smiled up at him, and cupped his cheek, "I'm okay if you're okay..."
A crooked grin pulled at his lips, and he ducked down to kiss her again. As he did, he guided himself between her folds, gasping at her tight, wet heat around his dick.
“Shit, baby, ‘m not gonna last long,” Bucky moaned as he slid another inch into her cunt.
“It’s okay, fuck- just like that, oh Bucky,” Colette breathed as his hips pressed flush against hers. He waited a moment, letting her adjust, his body trembling.
“Shh, it’s okay honey, whatever you need,” she murmured, leaning up and kissing his chest as he pushed himself up above her and slowly began fucking her.
As their hips moved in tandem, moans, and whines echoed through Colette's apartment, mixing together in perfect harmony. She felt cunt fluttering and clenching around him as a fire began building in her lower belly, pleasure flowing through every vein in her body.
Bucky leaned down and buried his face in the crook of her neck as his hips picked up the pace. He peppered her skin with small nips and kisses with deep groans breaking through, "you feel so good, angel" he whispered into her skin.
"God Bucky, just like that -" She breathed, wrapping her arms around him, "I've got you - fuck" she moaned.
Bucky's cock twitched inside her and the fire grew tighter, teetering on the edge of completely letting go. Colette's head felt fuzzy, and she heard a soft sob leave her lips, clenching tightly around him. He must have heard her because his head came snapping back up as his blue eyes searched her features.
"It's okay, Bucky, I'm okay..." she whimpered, pulling her bottom lip between her teeth to stop another moan.
He shook his head and pressed his forehead into hers, "I need to go faster, baby...."
"Please..." She nodded, pressing her lips back to his and swallowing his moan as his movements became quick and uncontrolled.
Pleasure was coursing through every pore of her body as her hips started to lift in an attempt to meet his own. The pace was heavenly as she felt his hip bones almost bruise her when he hugged her closer.
His flesh hand slid down her back and sank into her skin, making her arch further into him while his metal gripped the pillow next to her head tightly enough that they both heard it tear.
Both their eyes merely flicked to it before connecting again.
"Sorry.." he whined between thrusts.
“Don’t be,” Colette gasped as Bucky changed the angle and brushed against her spot. “There! Oh fuck, Bucky, don’t stop!”
“C’mon baby, lemme feel you, need to feel you,” Bucky whined, biting at her lower lip gently.
Colette’s breath hitched as she felt her orgasm overtake her, pleasure coursing through her body and lighting up her veins.
“Oh shit!” Bucky grunted as she tightened around him, his hips tripping as he came too, pumping his hips hard.
Colette breathed heavily, her chest heaving beneath Bucky’s, the two of them staying pressed close together, even as Bucky rolled over onto his side, Colette snuggled up into him.
The two of them stayed there in silence for a while, listening to each other’s breaths and just living in the moment. Colette suddenly pressed a soft kiss to Bucky’s chest and pushed herself up and off the bed. Extending out a hand, she nodded her head towards the kitchen, “come on you, I can hear your stomach growling,” she giggled.
Grasping her hand, Bucky moved out of the bed and came to stand in front of her, a wide smile on his face. He grabbed his boxers and pulled them on quickly as Colette pulled on her panties and the two of them padded back out into the kitchen.
She bent over in front of him and retrieved his shirt from the tile floor, and pulled it over her head, spinning around with a wicked grin on her face, “how does it look?”
Bucky leaned against the counter, a soft smile dancing on his lips as he watched her, “you have no idea how perfect it looks…” he answered.
She giggled and turned to scoop some food onto the two plates they’d gotten out earlier, flickering her eyes over to Bucky every once in a while. She could feel him watching her, not in a weird way but with admiration. It was a sweet feeling of him being safe and wanted in her space.
Swooping behind her, Bucky wrapped his arms around her waist and pressed a kiss to the crook of her neck, as he tried to sneakily take a fork full of food and shove it into his mouth with a deep chuckle.
“Isn’t that cold?” Colette exclaimed, spinning slightly to look at the shit-eating grin that was plastered on his lips.
Bucky shrugged, and shook his head, “It’s not that bad actually”
Colette followed suit, eating some off one of the plates before looking back at the big man behind her, “that’s actually really good”
Taking the plates off the counter, the two of the sank to the floor in a heap of giggles as they reminisce about their class. It certainly was not the way Colette expected the evening to go but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
As they were eating, she quickly reached onto the counter and pulled her phone down, clicking it open to see 1 new message from Kyle.
“Sorry I forgot about today but my buddies mom needed help with something”
Colette rolled her eyes, slid her phone back up to the counter, and returned her full attention back to Bucky. The man that in the span of a few hours made her feel more alive and more loved than anyone else ever had.
“What was that?” Bucky questioned as he took another bite.
A smirk crossed her lips and Colette shook her head, “It was nothing… Nobody important”
Bucky nodded once, and picked up another fork full of rice, holding it out to her which she gladly accepted with a giggle. She shifted her weight and placed her lips against his, tangling her fingers into his long dark hair.
When she pulled back, Bucky smiled softly at her and brushed a strand of hair from her cheek with his metal fingers, “thank you for making today worth it…” he whispered.