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An Affair Among Flowers

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“Are you nervous to be married?” Steve leaned against the door of Bucky’s dressing room, watching the Alpha do up the last few buttons at the collar of the finely pressed shirt. “The other Alphas say you’ll have to give up all your freedoms, that having an Omega waiting for you means no more drinking until dawn, or going out whoring with the other lads.”

“Is that what the other Alpha’s say?” Bucky reached over for the cravat that matched the detailed stitching on his waistcoat. “That I’ll have to stop whoring with the other lads? Damn shame, that.”

“You know what I’m trying to say.” Steve scowled and threw a hair brush at his best friend, scowling harder when the Alpha batted it out of the air without even looking. “Aren’t you going to miss that sort of thing? You’ve been a bachelor near ten years now, will you really be content to stay home and rub your Omega’s feet every night and to raise a little brood of hellions?”

“You’re an Omega, so you tell me.” Bucky said flippantly. “Would you expect your mate to stay home and rub your feet every night instead of drinking and brawling and causing general mayhem about the town?” He tossed the hairbrush back at Steve. “And watch what you say, any children of mine will not be hellions.”

“They will only be hellions.” Steve retorted and Bucky huffed a growl at him. “And I wouldn’t know about the foot rub as I’ve never had an Alpha to offer that sort of thing.”

“I’ve rubbed your feet before.” Bucky shrugged into his jacket and Steve jumped up to help smooth it over his shoulders, standing on his toes so he was tall enough to see. “Don’t you remember that one time you were being a cranky little Omega–”

“-so you held me down and tickled my feet until I had to vomit?” Steve finished and the aggravating Alpha snorted a laugh. “Yes, Bucky. I vividly remember that day, thank you. I don’t count it as a foot rub though, seeing as how you don’t count as an Alpha, and it ended when I kicked you in the face and bloodied your nose.”

“If I wasn’t marrying an Omega who is very appreciative of all that makes me pure Alpha–” Bucky waggled his eyebrows teasingly and Steve groaned as loud as he could. “– I might actually take offense to that. How high are your standards for Alpha’s if I don’t count as one?”

The Omega flushed a dull red clear to the tip of his ears and Bucky cocked his head curiously. “Are you hoping to meet someone today, Stevie? Tony invited over three hundred people to the wedding, do you think you’ll find an Alpha to fit your lofty requirements?”

“Well, seeing as how I don’t want an Alpha, I certainly don’t have any requirements for one.” Steve busied himself fetching Bucky’s boots from the closet, swiping a rag over the toes to give them a high shine. “And even if I did want an Alpha and a–a mate, Omegas like me aren’t in high demand so I rather doubt that I’ll get the chance to ask one for a foot rub.”

“Stevie–”

“Don’t.” Steve brushed off the concern and sympathy flickering in the Alpha’s blue eyes and squared his thin shoulders. “Don’t do that, Buck. Today’s your wedding day and if Tony sees you looking even the tiniest bit morose he will string me up by my suspenders and leave me for the birds.”

“You’re too small to be a meal for the birds.” Bucky scoffed good naturedly and Steve retorted, “And you smell so bad not even a buzzard would want to pick at you!”

“If you put half as much effort into combing your hair as you did mastering that sass, you’d have the Alphas falling at your feet.” Bucky flung back and Steve sniffed, “Well any half decent Alpha would  be enamored with my wit and charmed by my low maintenance approach to life!”

“Any half decent Alpha would think you were a scarecrow.” Bucky grabbed a brush and immobilized the tiny Omega with his other arm, holding him still and brushing determinedly at the blonde mess. “There isn’t that better? Brat.”

“Punk.”

Jerk.”

A knock on the door interrupted what was sure to be another round of name calling and general mischief, and Bucky looked up with an eager smile. “Is my bride ready?”

The matronly Beta at the door nodded and Bucky turned back to Steve, joy lighting his eyes. “This is it, Stevie. You’re going to stand up with me, aren’t you?”

“I’m with you, Bucky.” Steve helped the Alpha into his jacket and patted him on the back. “Let’s go get you married.” 

***************

The wedding of Anthony Carbonell Stark, sole heir to the Stark fortune, to war hero James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes was the event of the season, and their love story, one for the ages.

A swaggering, cocky Alpha soldier taking one look at a doe-eyed Omega socialite and falling in love, a true mate bond sparked with nothing more than the chastest kiss stolen after a single dance as the clock struck midnight. Tony who had never been kissed, and Bucky with a rather roguish reputation so enamored with each other they’d disappeared upstairs from the party and bonded right then, reappearing late the next day with matching soulmarks curling around their wrists and silvered bite marks at their neck.

Truly a fairy tale, and today’s wedding was nothing more than a formality, a chance for friends and family to celebrate with the happily mated pair–

–and to perhaps make sure the first child born to the family was not born out of wedlock, because there were more than a few whispers that the Omega was already expecting.

No matter. 

Steve stood at the end of the garden aisle next to Bucky and watched as Tony made his way to meet them, the Omega bride resplendent in an ensemble that cut like a suit across his upper body, then bloomed into a gown with no less than fifteen feet of train attached as it trailed behind on the petal strewn path.

He was exquisite, and Bucky was utterly tongue tied, staring open mouthed at his mate for long enough that Steve finally sighed and elbowed the Alpha in the side, hissing, “You can’t mount him right here, you horny Alpha! At least say your vows first!”

Tony had to cover his mouth so he wouldn’t burst into laughter, and Father Coulson looked less than impressed at the choice of words but Bucky at least pulled himself together to bow his head for the opening prayer, and Steve breathed a sigh of relief as the wedding finally began.

It was a beautiful ceremony and a lovely day, the wind blowing just enough to ease the sunlight and to tousle Bucky’s perfectly styled hair. Tony reached up automatically to correct it and a collective sigh went up from every Omega in attendance when and the Alpha caught his hand, turning it over and kissing first Tony’s palm and then the soulmark that wrapped around his wrist.

Even Steve felt a little shiver at witnessing such an intimate, loving moment between the pair and he frowned because that– that wasn’t right. He’d grown up watching Bucky turn that legendary charm on any and every Omega that came his way and never once had he wanted to shiver over it. Usually his reaction was more akin to eye rolling and loudly snarky comments so why–

Oh. Oh my.

At the very edge of the garden stood an Alpha that Steve hadn’t noticed when everyone had been finding their seats, an Alpha that certainly hadn’t been standing there when he and Bucky had walked the aisle and stood waiting beneath the arch.

He was monstrously tall, towering over the Beta’s rushing around to take more flowers up to the reception, and impossibly thick arms were folded over a broad chest. Golden blonde hair was woven into braids that fell halfway down his back in a length far longer than socially appropriate and dark blue eyes were trained solely on Steve.

When the giant saw Steve watching from the stage, he rocked back on his heels and tipped his head in a clear come hither motion, a cocky smile crooking the edge of his lips as if he knew there was no way an Omega would resist.

Well this Omega certainly could resist. Steve felt a hot blush climbing the back of his neck at the thought of an Alpha being so forward with him of all Omegas, but he made a point of looking away, focusing with the utmost concentration on the ceremony and the vows Tony was currently repeating, his eyes firmly forward as if he’d never noticed the golden Alpha at all.

Father Coulson was still droning on, Bucky was still staring down at Tony like he just might devour his mate there on the stage and Tony’s gaze wasn’t any more subtle. Wedding wedding wedding. Steve chanted to himself. He was certainly not thinking about that Alpha and he was flushed from the heat, not from that damnable smile, and the back of his neck was certainly not tingling because he thought he could still feel the Alpha staring.

Absolutely not.

Alright, perhaps a little.

Steve risked a glance over his shoulder, nothing more than a peek really, hoping wondering if the Alpha was watching.

Damn him. The arrogant bastard straightened up when he saw Steve looking again, rolling those broad shoulders in an obvious flex, this time going so far as to hold out his hand in invitation and when he smiled again, a set of curving fangs caught and glinted in the sunlight.

Steve couldn’t breathe, his lungs tightening and eyes widening, each individual beat of his heart echoing in his chest and it was… it was exhilarating in a terrifying sort of way, reacting so strongly to nothing more than an Alpha’s gaze. 

Steve was a small Omega but he was not a weak Omega, given to swoons or fits of fainting because an Alpha was too forward. In fact, after so many years of being measured against other Omegas and found wanting, Steve had learned to treat any Alpha that bothered to look twice in his direction as if their very existence was an inconvenience, and most Alpha’s took the hint, annoyed by his sarcasm and snark if they weren’t first turned off by his diminutive size.

But this Alpha– another glance, another peek and something hot settled in Steve’s core when the Alpha was still watching him, those blue eyes unwavering and expression nearly coaxing– oh this Alpha–

–“For the first time as both husbands and mates, the Colonel James Barnes and his mate, Anthony Carbonell Barnes.”

Startled from his errant thoughts by the announcement, cursing under his breath for missing most of the ceremony because he was distracted, Steve whooped and cheered with the rest of the gathered friends and family as Bucky bent his new bride over into a thorough kiss and Tony had happy tears in his eyes when they finally parted.

Flower petals were thrown into the air by the hundreds, raining down on the bride and groom as they ran down the aisle towards a waiting carriage, and Steve clapped and cheered until they were out of sight. 

…..He was not disappointed when the air cleared and the mysterious Alpha was nowhere to be seen. 

…. not disappointed at all. 

******************

The reception inside the Grand Ballroom at the Stark Estate was every bit as lavish as the wedding had been, filled with flowers and decorations, potted plants and festive streamers. Musicians were playing in two different corners or the room so there was music flowing very which way, and a veritable feast was spread out along several banquet sized tables.

Steve settled into a corner of the room mostly hidden behind a few leafy plants and framed by long curtains, content to watch the party unfold from there. He dragged a low bench over so he was a bit higher off the ground and sipped at his champagne, tapping his toe to the music and smiling as he watched the dancers go round and round. 

He managed to be invisible for nearly an hour, but all good things must end and Steve sighed when Bucky and Tony finally spotted him, waving wildly and heading his way. 

Ooph.” He wheezed when Bucky caught him up in a crushing hug, the Alpha swinging him around a few times and pounding at his back. “Buck, just a bit gentler if that’s alright.” Steve coughed a few times. “I’m very happy for you today, but I would like my lungs usable, thank you.”

“Let him go, husband, you’re crushing him.” Tony tugged at his mate’s arm with an exasperated grin but the moment Bucky let Steve go, Tony was swooping the other Omega into a hug as well, nearly smothering Steve in a pile of sweetly scented lace and satin, the feathered broach at the plunging neckline tickling Steve’s nose.

“Steve, what are you doing hiding away back here?” Reproachfully, Tony finally letting Steve go and swiping the remnants of glitter from his cheek. “It’s tradition for the best man to dance with the bride and you’re hiding in the shadows like some sort of gremlin!”

“A gremlin?” Steve squawked and Bucky burst out laughing, apparently all too pleased with his mate’s sense of humour. “I’m not hiding!” Steve insisted. “I’m afraid I might be knocked over by one of gowns on the dress floor, perhaps even stepped on.” 

He scowled at the bride, but there was no heat in the words when he asked, “Did you tell the women and Omega’s to all wear their fanciest dresses? I nearly suffocated in lace and perfume trying to get down the hall!”

“Oh stop, you didn’t suffocate.” Tony waved him off with an offended sniff. “And you are most certainly hiding and I won’t stand for it at my wedding. Not only do I require a dance with my mate’s best man, but also–” the Omega’s dark eyes sparked mischievously and Steve muttered a quiet ‘oh no’, a sentiment echoed by Bucky’s long suffering but adoring expression.

“– also, I have someone I want to introduce you too, I think you and he will get along wonderfully.” Tony gathered his gown up so he could twist around and look for his friend, standing on his toes and waving excitedly when he caught sight of him. “Oh, oh here he is, here he is, Bucky wave for me please, I don’t think Thor can see me.”

“I don’t think he can see you either, sweetheart.” Bucky agreed mock seriously. “You are nearly invisible in such drab little gown, however will he find you wearing this boring thing?”

“Laugh if you want.” Tony said mildly, wiping a non existent speck from one of the buttons on the suit top. “But if you insult my dress one more time, you’ll be spending your wedding night as a lonely, couch bound Alpha do you understand?”

“My mate…” Bucky growled teasingly, leaning in for a kiss but Tony flattened a hand to his Alpha’s face and pushed him away with a stubborn, “Oh no, you aren’t getting off quite that easy– Thor! Here I am!”

“Anthony, þú ert frábær í dag.” The tallest Alpha Steve had ever seen bent over Tony’s hand and kissed his knuckles gently, murmuring quietly in a foreign language. “My friend, you are exquisite today. What a lovely Omega.”

“And a lucky Alpha!” The Alpha straightened up and clapped Bucky on the back hard enough to almost send him to the floor. “Farsælt brúðkaup! Congratulations on the wedding! Tis a wonderful day when mates are joined together!”

“Thor.” Tony grabbed the giants hand and dragged him closer to Steve. “Come here, this is my friend I was telling you about, the Omega. This is Steven Rogers and Steve, I’d like you to meet Thor Odinson. He’s a business partner of my fathers, our families have been friends for generations and he comes from–” Tony paused in thought. “Across the sea and… north? Somewhere?”

“Tis close enough.” Thor grinned down at Tony, who absolutely turned pink in pleasure. “A bride should not have to think of more than their happiness on a wedding day, and certainly not business partners and trade agreements. Colonel Barnes, perhaps your Omega needs some more champagne and a dance.”

“I couldn’t agree more.” Bucky patted at Steve’s shoulder then grasped Tony’s hand leading the Omega back towards the party, hushing Tony’s protests of “I want to see how they get along!” with what must have been sordid promises because Tony flushed absolutely scarlet and started to drag his husband through the crowd faster.

Then it was only Steve and the Alpha Thor, who stared down at him from some impossible height, blue eyes dark and soft, a slow smile that showed just the tips of his fangs as he said quietly, “I wondered if I would see you again at the reception. Little did I know that Anthony had his own plans in mind when he invited me to his special day.”

“You mean his and Bucky’s special day.” Steve corrected, returning the Alpha’s gaze boldly and refusing to let his breath catch when Thor’s smile grew. “Don’t you?”

“Colonel Barnes can say as he pleases–” Thor glanced at the departing couple, then back at Steve with a conspiratory wink. “–But everyone in attendance is aware that this day belongs to the Omega. The groom is simply there as a pretty bauble to decorate the arm of Anthony’s gown.”

Steve barked a surprised laugh, then put his hand over his mouth, mortified at the loud noise. “Erm– I mean, yes. Well, I’m sure Bucky is thrilled to even be simple a bauble for Tony. He is madly in love with his mate.”

“And that is how it should be.” Thor agreed. “May I join you here in your corner, Steven?” 

“If you can manage one foot in front of the other.” Steve replied flippantly and then closed his eyes, muttering a curse. “What I mean to say is–” 

“–that you spend too much time with Alpha’s too stupid to walk?” Thor finished and Steve found himself vaguely wishing the floor would simply swallow him up. “I’d say ‘tis a pity you’ve been subjected to just a low standard of Alphas, but I’ll confess to being pleased.”

Steve blinked at him in confusion and the Alpha clarified, “Such poor company will ensure that I appear as the knight in shining armor, rescuing the swooning Omega from those would wouldn’t deserve him.” 

“Oh? And do I strike you as a swooning Omega?” Steve said cattily and Thor didn’t miss a beat as he answered, “Did I say swooning? I meant sassy.” 

Steve’s laugh was easier this time, still surprised that the Alpha wasn’t offended by his sarcasm, more than a little flattered over Thor’s apparent interest in him and when the Alpha took two champagne glasses from a passing waiter, Steve took is with a pleased smile

“Thank you.” He drained most of his glass in one go, feeling parched just standing so close to the Alpha. It was really stunning just how beautiful the man was now that they were standing next to each other, the hair longer than Steve realized, the eyes so shockingly blue, the voice little more than a rumble even at normal tones. Thor’s hands were huge and his legs long and oh those thighs

Well that’s quite enough of that, isn’t it? 

Steve coughed to clear his throat and prayed his voice would be steady as he commented, “Do you suppose they serve champagne at weddings so when we all inevitably trip and spill the drinks down our fronts, the stain isn’t quite as obvious?”

“I’d think it was more so we feel like royalty holding delicate glasses even though we are stumbling about like sailors three sheets to the wind.” Thor countered and Steve tried to muffle a chuckle, “Not that I have ever tripped a day in my life,of course. No an Alpha of my stature is far too composed for that sort of thing.”

“An Alpha of your stature.” Steve repeated. “Surely you meant statue, as it’s fairly obvious you simply detached yourself from a ruin of ancient Rome and are only pretending to fit into our society.”

“Omega.” Thor’s voice dropped a notch and Steve’s knees suddenly felt a little weak. “Are you intimating that I look to be sculpted from marble?”

“No.” Steve shook his head quickly. “I was politely suggesting that you watch your step as you retrieve me another drink, I’ve seen far too many statues without their arms or other–” his eyes dropped meaningfully to the Alpha’s trousers. “–accessories and I think you’d look frightfully awkward as an armless, long haired Titan, don’t you?”

Thor threw back his head and roared with laughter, and Steve felt warm to his very toes. An Alpha who would laugh at his snark and not dismiss him as a mouthy Omega.

Oh my.

“Another drink, then.” Thor’s eyes were sparkling merrily as he held up his still full champagne glass. “As I’d very much like to keep my arms and other accessories–” Steve inhaled bubbles up his nose trying not to laugh. “–you’ll understand if I give you my glass instead of risking a step to fetch a fresh one.”

“Well, I suppose your glass will have to be acceptable.” Steve tipped his head back and grinned up at the Alpha as he took the offered glass. “Thank you.”

There was a moment, a second, just a breath of time when their fingers touched, brushed, slid across the others skin as the flute was passed from one hand to the other.

It was simple touch, an arguably innocent touch, and yet Steve felt it like a bolt through his very soul. He was suddenly panting, struggling to draw a breath as the Alpha’s eyes darkened and the Omega didn’t know what changed, or why it had changed but he didn’t have time to wonder, because Thor was murmuring something about ‘introducing himself properly’ and ‘forgive me, Omega for being so remiss’.

“What?” Steve said, or tried to say, but he was tongue tied as the Alpha set the champagne glass aside and cradled Steve’s small hand in a huge palm, bending low to touch his lips to Steve’s knuckles. “Oh-h-h.”

Thor straightened still holding Steve’s hand between both his own, pressing them over his heart. ““You caught my eye the moment I entered the garden, do you know that Omega?”

“I–” Steve swallowed hard as he felt the Alpha’s heartbeat pick up beneath his palm. “Why’s that?”

“You were smiling as you watched our friends saw their vows.” Thor took a step closer and suddenly their little corner was smaller, more intimate, and that same flash of heat that had flooded Steve during the ceremony came back in a rush, his chest tightening as he tried to just breathe in the Alpha’s presence. “And I thought I’d never seen an Omega so beautiful. You were nearly disappearing into the flowers there beneath the willow tree arch and I thought perhaps you were a forest nymph, a tiny fae come to watch and bask in the happiness of the wedding. I was quite afraid if I got too close, you might spirit yourself away.”

“Not–not a fae nor a nymph.” Steve managed breathlessly. “And I might be tiny but I am fierce. Don’t think I won’t to hesitate to take an Alpha to task for being too forward.”

“I have no doubt you are fierce, Omega.” Thor’s gaze warmed in appreciation as it moved over Steve’s body and Steve had to fight the urge to preen. “You have to guard yourself from those who would see you beauty and take it for themselves, don’t you? Falleg og grimmur– beautiful and fierce. A perfect quality in a mate.”

Steve had never purred for an Alpha a day in his life, but he did now, tipping his head back and letting his eyes fall close and purring over the wholly unexpected compliments.

“Lovely.” Thor moved closer still, the words rough with longing. “You are lovely, little one. Golden hair and eyes so blue I could be lost in your gaze forever. þú ert furða, elskan, you are a wonder.”

Another brush of lips at Steve’s hand, but this time the Alpha pressed a kiss to his palm and Steve shuddered through a quiet whimper as Thor’s tongue flicked out against sensitive skin. “I was afraid I wouldn’t find you after the ceremony, you cannot imagine how relieved I was to see that you were the Omega Anthony was so intent on me meeting.”

“I–I–I—” Speechless for once in his life, nothing quippy or quick to say, Steve could only bite at his lip and try not to whimper again as the Alpha lay barely there fingers against his cheek, sliding down along his jaw and whispering along his throat until they were stroking lightly at the curve where Steve’s pulse was thundering out of control.

“Did you feel it too, Omega?” Thor whispered. “Did you feel it when our eyes met and do you feel it now? The struggle to breathe, the urge to touch. Did you want to run away with me then, like I wanted to run away with you? I knew the moment I saw you, you were meant to be mine.”

“Meant to be yours.” Steve’s voice was soft even to his own ears, breathless and needy and the Alpha wet his lips in anticipation. “Are you saying we are– we are mates? Are we mates?”

“Are we?” Thor’s smile was devastatingly hopeful, almost shy in it’s eagerness and Steve tried not to squirm when he caught sight of those fangs again. “There’s only one way to be sure, isn’t there sweetheart?”

The Alpha might have moved first, fitting a hand to the Omega’s narrow waist and bringing him close to lay a gentle, chaste kiss on sweet red lips. Or it might have been the Omega who brought their mouths together, hooking his fingers in Thor’s jacket and standing on his toes to hasten the embrace.

It didn’t matter in the end of course, both Alpha and Omega were instantly anxious for more, the kiss lengthening between them as the party itself faded to the background, nothing more to be heard than the pounding of their hearts, the coaxing rumble of the Alpha and desperate little cry the Omega gave in answer.

When they finally parted, Steve was light headed, swaying on his feet and Thor was right there to catch him, cradling his little mate in his arms and crooning something soft and possessive into the Omega’s ear.

“Yes, my little fae.” The Alpha hummed contentedly when Steve pressed tighter to him, slim fingers slipping beneath his jacket to feel his warmth, blue eyes closing in contentment as Thor squeezed at his side.  “Yes, you feel it now, hm? My mate, you can feel the pull between us can’t you?”  

“There are too many people in here.” Steve’s words were muffled, the Omega loathe to step away from his mate– oh god, his mate– long enough to even speak properly. “Will you– will you take me for a walk to the gardens?”

Litla ævintýri.” Thor sounded like he might be smiling. “Why would we go to the gardens? I thought the only reason to escape to the gardens at a party is to entangle yourself in illicit affairs that aren’t appropriate for other eyes to see. Surely my innocent little mate wouldn’t want something like that?” 

Never one to pass up the chance to be sassy Steve leaned away only far enough to peer up at the Alpha through his lashes, a boldly intentional croon in the words as he murmured. “Oh, I have no intention of other eyes being privy to our affairs.”

The Alpha’s eyes darkened to nearly black, want surging and crackling between their bodies and Steve bit at his lip, standing on his toes to whisper to his mate, “Fairies are always happier surrounded by flowers.” 

Omega.” Thor’s growl vibrated between their bodies and Steve gasped, his mouth falling open and core clenching with need. “Come then. I shall find my fae a bed of flowers.”

********************

********************

The moon was high in the sky by the time Bucky realized both Steve and Thor had disappeared, and he tracked down his new bride, slipping a protective arm around Tony’s waist and bending to speak in his ear. “My mate, did you see where Stevie got off to?”

“Thor took him out to the gardens a few hours ago.” Tony said nonchalantly, then jumped when anger was suddenly rolling from his Alpha’s shoulders. “…mate?”

“A strange Alpha took Stevie to the gardens? For hours?” Bucky was practically seething. “Do know what kind of things Alphas do with Omegas in the gardens? Tony, they aren’t simply making the rounds through the maze in there, I have no doubt that–”

“Hush.” Tony rapped his Alpha with his fan. “Thor is a giant, but he’s a gentleman and a good Alpha. He will treat Steve right, he isn’t half the beast you are.” 

“Oh, I’m a beast, am I?” Bucky raised his eyebrows. “And why would that be exactly?”

“Because within mere minutes of seeing an innocent debutante dancing at the winter ball, you were carrying the Omega off over your shoulder like a brute, laying your claim in all sorts of imaginative ways and not letting the poor dear go until the morning.” Tony sniffed. “Beast.”

And then in an entirely wicked tone–“But don’t worry, I’ll be laying my claim on you in all sorts of imaginative ways tonight so I suppose we’ll be even.”

Bucky swept both hands into Tony’s carefully styled hair, thoroughly disrupting the jeweled pins as he kissed his bride for a long moment.

“What a lucky Alpha I am.” he murmured and Tony smiled, rubbing their noses together happily. “To have you as a mate.” 

They kissed for another moment, holding each other close and ignoring the other dancers around them until– “OH!” Bucky’s eyes flew open wide. “Do you think Thor and Steve are mates?” 

“OH!” Tony gave a little jump of excitement. “Oh we should go bother them and see! I bet I know where they are, Steve prefers the gazebo at the southern corner because the hummingbirds–

“No no no.” Bucky caught a hold of his mate before Tony made it too far. “Absolutely not, sweet thing. Your meddling stops here, hm? If they are mates, they deserve to be alone to discover each other. How would you have felt if someone spied on us on our mating night?” 

“Oh fine.” Tony sulked a little. “But if they are mates, you aren’t allowed to tease me about matchmaking anymore, because I am apparently wonderful at it.” 

“I’d never.” Bucky promised and kissed his mate again. “I’d never tease you, Omega.”

****************

Across the ball room and out the balcony stairs, down through the gardens and back in a corner that was rarely visited, Steve lay spread out on a Thor’s long coat, flowers and leaves strewn about and in his hair.

He wore nothing but the still silvering mating bite at the curve of his neck, and the flowered soul mark that matched the one winding around his Alpha’s wrist and the Omega couldn’t do more than sigh when his mate bent to kiss him sweetly.

“You are lovely in the moonlight, my mate.” Thor whispered and Steve flushed in pleasure. “I’d have you this way always if I didn’t think you’d be cold.”

“Mmm.” Steve arched into another kiss when Thor’s palm landed high on his thigh, fingers slicking through the lingering evidence of their love, of their bond. “You’d keep me warm Alpha?”

Alltaf.” the Alpha rumbled. “Always, my little fae.”