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Right Now I’m In A State’a Mind, I Wanna Be In Like All the Time

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Right Now I’m In A State’a Mind, I Wanna Be In Like All the Time



Bucky takes Steve’s glass from him and sets it on the bar. Steve leans back in his seat, draping his legs across the sofa, and he watches Barnes from the back, waiting, expectant.

 

“So,” Bucky says, turning again. “I’d like to begin things slowly.”

 

Steve raises his eyebrows. “Slowly?”

 

“Get to know one another,” Bucky adds.

 

“So you won’t be taking me to bed tonight?” Steve questions.

 

Bucky just smiles. “Not tonight.”

 

Steve sighs. “Pity.”

 

Bucky walks over to him and his hand cups Steve’s chin. Steve looks up, almost startled, and Bucky sweeps his thumb across his lower lip. Steve takes in a breath.

 

“I promise that the wait will be worth it, pet,” Bucky says in a soft voice.

 

Steve blinks up at him, breath now catching in his throat. He can smell the Alpha’s arousal, his hunger, and it, in turn, leaves him wanting more.

 

But Bucky just smiles down at him and strokes his cheek. “You’ll go to bed in your own room for now, until I’ve decided the time is right for me to take you to mine. We’ll take things slowly, one thing at a time.”

 

“Alright,” Steve concedes softly.

 

“You’re still going to address me properly, aren’t you, sweetheart?” Bucky prompts.

 

Steve’s ears burn. “Yes, sir,” he whispers.

 

Bucky smiles more. He taps Steve’s lower lip, just with his thumb. Steve wonders if in doing his homework, Bucky found out how much he loves sucking cock.

 

“Tomorrow will be your first day,” Bucky tells him. “I’d like you to start your chores by doing some grocery shopping tomorrow and having dinner ready for me when I come home. We’ll eat together and after that, I’ll reward you. How does that sound?”

 

Steve nods. He likes cooking. He likes the idea of being rewarded even better.

 

“You’ll have to answer me aloud, doll,” Bucky says.

 

“Yes, sir,” Steve obeys immediately. “I’d like to do that for you, sir.”

 

“Good boy,” Bucky murmurs.

 

Steve shivers all over. His lashes flutter and he ducks his gaze to Bucky’s crotch. He’s enraptured in the bulge of him tucked away in his tailored trousers. Steve presses a kiss to the thumb touching his lip.

 

“It’s time for bed now, babydoll,” Bucky tells him.

 

Steve reluctantly lifts from the couch. Bucky removes his grip on his chin and instead takes his elbow. He walks Steve from the sofa to the bedroom, then stops and touches his shoulder, turning him back.

 

“Good night, doll,” Bucky says softly.

 

Steve, hopeful, lifts his chin for a kiss. Bucky smiles, then leans in. Steve shuts his eyes, sucking in a breath.

 

Bucky kisses his cheek. Steve almost lets out a disappointed noise.

 

“I’ll likely be gone before you get up in the morning,” Bucky says then. “So I’ll see you at supper. I’ll be home by seven.”

 

“Okay,” Steve answers, eyes opening again. “Good night. Sir.”

 

Bucky smiles again and steps back. Steve slips inside his bedroom. He casts a glance over his shoulder, at Bucky who is passing through the hallway leaving Steve, then shuts his door gently. It latches, and though Steve sees the small lock below the handle, he doesn’t use it. Just in case the lord of the house decides to go wandering in the night.

 

Inside, the room feels light and airy. Steve takes a few steps in, looking around. A gas light hangs from the ceiling, giving low but decent illumination to the room. There are a couple of hurricane lamps on the nightstand, on the side of the bed opposite the door; one is tall, clearly meant to be carried, and the other is ornate and small, to stay at the bedside. There’s a fancy silver clock on the nightstand as well, that reflects the mirrored surface of the table and shows his own face.

 

Steve finds a matchbook in the drawer of the nightstand. He strikes the match and lights the tall lamp, then switches off the overhead light. The room is cast into a dim glow, the mirrored surfaces of the furniture glowing with the candle flame.

 

Steve looks around once more. His bedroom is gorgeous and he almost wishes he could stay here permanently. There are perfume bottles and little trinkets and jewelry boxes on the vanity dresser, neat things that seem to have little use other than looking pretty.

 

He takes the hurricane lamp and goes into the bathroom, looking around. The polished marble floor reflects the candlelight. A tray sits across the bathtub, ready to hold a glass of wine or maybe a book. There’s a real toilet, not just a chamber pot. A full-length mirror stands next to it, and beside that is a small chest of drawers; Steve looks in it and finds towels and washcloths waiting for him.

 

Steve looks at the bathtub and decides on a whim that he’s going to have a bath tonight. He doesn’t really need one, he bathed just yesterday, but he’s never had a bathtub that is only his. The thought of all that hot water, enjoying it for however long he likes without someone banging on the door to tell him to hurry up, that’s too enticing.

 

Steve goes back into the bedroom, putting the lamp on the dressing table to open up his trunk. He laments packing his things so haphazardly now, but starts unpacking them. All his makeup goes on the dressing table. His clothes get hung up in the closet, or folded and neatly put away in the tall chest of drawers or the low vanity dresser; the wardrobe isn't truly a wardrobe on closer inspection, it's a cabinet, so Steve puts his shoes and hats in it. His trunk is soon all but empty. Steve leaves his wigs, shoes, and other props in it, just for the time being.

 

He lays his dressing gown over the edge of the bed’s footboard, then reaches behind himself and starts undoing the buttons on his dress. He lets it fall away, steps out of it, and lays it across the footboard, too. Then he starts undoing the hooks on his garter skirt, releases his pantyhose, and slips those off. His underwear is a simple pair of cotton briefs; his cock isn’t tucked between his legs like the other queens have to do. He’s lucky, for his profession, that his dick is barely two inches and he can hide it just with a shaping garter skirt.

 

Steve slips on his dressing gown, then sits down on the little stool at the dressing table and starts applying cold cream to his face to remove his makeup. Using several cotton balls, he cleans off all his makeup, leaving his skin a little pale and washed out in the candlelight. Steve drops the used cotton balls into a small metal waste bin next to the dressing table, then gets up.

 

He takes the candle and returns to the bathroom, putting it down on the sink. He turns on the bath taps, then lets out a satisfied hum as the water begins to fill the vast clawfoot tub. He takes off his dressing gown and hangs it on a hook on the back of the door, then checks the temperature of the water, adjusting it as it’s too hot. He’s eager to get in and enjoy just basking in the hot water.

 

When he does get in, Steve lets out a content sigh as he sinks further into the warm waters embrace. This truly is the height of luxury, he thinks to himself.

 

He does exactly what he intended. He basks in the hot water until it’s gone cold. He gives himself a dunk and scrubs his scalp for a second, then pushes up, pulls the plug, and steps out, dripping onto the plush rug. He grabs a towel and dries himself, then walks up to the sink and looks in the cabinet behind the mirror. There’s a toothbrush and real Colgate toothpaste, better than the baking soda Steve usually uses at home. It tastes minty fresh and Steve’s mouth feels cleaner than it has in months after he’s rinsed.

 

Steve dons his dressing gown again, then picks up the lamp and slips back into the bedroom. He puts the lamp back on the nightstand, takes a second to enjoy the way the light reflects off the mirrored surface, then gets a nightshirt and a fresh pair of underwear from the chest of drawers and dresses himself. He puts the dressing gown back in the bathroom, then pulls back the blankets on the bed and gets in.

 

The mattress is firm and soft at the same time. The pillows are down-feathers, the sheets are soft cotton, and the blanket is stuffed with down as well. Steve blows out the candles and settles his head down with a soft sigh. It’s wonderful.

 

As he falls asleep, Steve thinks that he might decide to stay after the trial period just to continue enjoying this level of luxury. Real down-feather pillows and duvets, all the hot water he could want, his own bathroom. He wouldn’t mind staying on just as Barnes’s housekeeper.

 

He falls asleep and for the first night since returning home, Steve sleeps evenly and doesn’t have a single dream.

 

The morning dawns with birds singing and Steve sits up in bed, stretching and yawning. He feels wonderfully rested and spry and fresh and by God, is he in love with this mattress.

 

He wonders if Barnes is still in the house. Steve turns on his hip and checks the time, but it’s nearly nine in the morning. It’s not likely. Mobsters actually have rather regular hours, Steve’s found.

 

But he gets up. Puts on his dressing gown and spots a pair of slippers tucked under the edge of the bed, which he puts on as well. He opens the door and looks around, but the sitting room outside is empty. So he heads for the stairs, going down to the first floor, which he finds deserted as well.

 

But there’s a percolator on the stove that, by the smell of it, is fresh and cold by maybe an hour, so Steve switches the fire under it on again and starts looking in the cupboards for something to eat for breakfast. There’s a bowl of apples on the kitchen table, and when Steve approaches it to pick one out, he spots a note with his name on it. Steve picks it up, then pulls out a chair and sits to read it.

 

Good morning Stevie –

 

Steve stops and gives a snort, but he likes that Bucky’s calling him that, it makes him feel young and innocent again.

 

Good morning Stevie,

There’s a chicken coop in the backyard if you want eggs for your breakfast; watch out for the black hen, she’ll bite. On the back is a list of items I want you to purchase at the grocer’s and you’ll find some money in the white trinket box on your dresser. The grocer I like is Gregor’s, I wrote directions for you on the back of this. When you go out, you don’t have to dress like a woman, I’m fine with the neighbors thinking I’ve hired a houseboy. It’s up to you. You can make whatever you want for dinner, as long as it’s not Brussel sprouts, I hate Brussel sprouts. Other than that, I’m not picky. There’s a key for you on the table; make sure you lock up. I should be home by seven o’clock, but if I’m not, don’t wait too long for me.

P.S. While you’re out, there’s a bookstore near Gregor’s, feel free to stop in and buy yourself something.

 

Steve smiles a little at the note. He flips it over and finds the grocery list, which is pretty simple and has another post-script at the bottom encouraging him to get anything else he wants, and the directions Bucky mentioned. Gregor’s isn’t far and Steve thinks he’d enjoy the walk. The key is by the bowl of apples, with a string of yarn tied to it. He gets up, leaving the note on the table, and opens the back door to look out into the yard. It’s small, there’s steps going down to a little patio and there’s a bit of grass where the chicken coop is; the hens, maybe five or so, are out and picking at the grass as they please.

 

Steve decides, fuck it, and slips out, going down the steps towards the coop. He keeps the big black hen in the corner of his eye and peers into the coop, looking for the nests. He sees two or three eggs right away and just grabs one. One of the hens squawks loudly and Steve books it out of there, going up the steps and out of the hen’s reach. The black hen squawks at him and Steve lets out a laugh, waving the egg at her, before ducking back into the kitchen.

 

Egg in hand, Steve finds a frying pan in the cupboard and a butter dish in the icebox. There is a loaf of bread in another cupboard and Steve cuts off one piece that he toasts in the frying pan after he cooks the egg. The coffee is hot by then and Steve finds real cream in the icebox, which he happily puts a little bit of into his coffee.

 

Breakfast that morning is divine. He’s more than happy to just sit at the kitchen table and sip his coffee while he looks out the window at the hens picking at the yard. Life is good when you have a sugar daddy.

 

Steve has plenty of time before seven o’clock, but he likes the idea of taking his time browsing the grocer’s and finding a butcher, too. He washes his dishes, puts them away, and goes back up to the third floor and his bedroom, where he debates if he wants the neighbors to think that Barnes hired a houseboy or a maid.

 

Steve considers the long-term complications of being a houseboy and the growing dislike for Omega boys partnered with anyone other than Alpha women. There’s talk of outlawing same-sex Alpha and Omega marriages, even, and Steve is open-minded to the possibility that after a year’s contract, he might want to simply stay in Bucky’s bed for much longer.

 

Besides, it’s not like he’s a stranger to the everyday disguise, nor that he dislikes the dresses and pretty things and makeup. He spent the whole of the war pretending to be a woman and only one person found him out in that whole time. Which reminds him, Steve thinks as he pulls a simple house dress from his wardrobe, he should check the post-office for a letter from Peggy.

 

It’s fortunate that Steve did have plenty of plain women’s clothes with him at The Big Apples, because he can dress quite comfortably in a simple blue gingham frock and a well-worn pair of penny loafers. He sits down at the dressing table and powders his face, then dabs a little bit of lipstick to his mouth before combing his hair and leaving it the way it is. Short hair is the new fashion, after all.

 

Steve checks the ornate white trinket box on his dresser and he finds a roll of quarters and a handful of change. Steve counts it all out; the roll of quarters is worth $10 on its own, but the loose coins come up to another three and change. Steve, eyebrows high on his forehead, digs around in his trunk for a handbag and a coin purse; he dumps everything into it before tucking it into the handbag and sticking it under his arm. He’ll tuck it under his coat on the way to the shop, he doesn’t want to be caught with $13 even in the nice part of Manhattan. He puts his sidearm into his handbag as well, just in case.

 

By then, it’s a little after eleven o’clock. Steve uses the front of the tall chest of drawers to double check that the lines on his pantyhose are straight, then heads downstairs to put on his coat. There’s a shopping basket in the kitchen and he picks it up to tuck on his arm. As he’d been instructed, he locks the back door and picks up the key from the kitchen table.

 

Hat, coat, and gloves on, Steve lets himself out of the house, locking the front door behind him, and sets off. There are a few women, likely nannies and governesses, in their front gardens with young children and Steve nods to them, smiling, as he passes. They smile back politely and Steve is perfectly aware that the moment his back is to them, they’ll be whispering to one another about his sudden presence. It makes him smile genuinely.

 

The grocer isn’t far and Steve can see quite a few more shops on the same road that he knows he’ll need to visit. He starts with the grocer, since that’s what he’d been told to do, and gets the produce and pantry items Bucky requested, plus a few more that Steve thinks will be useful. The assumed Gregor eyes him appraisingly when Steve puts his basket on the counter, but doesn’t say anything as he weighs and rings up all his items. Steve pays $3.95 for the groceries, then leaves with his basket almost full and heads for the butcher.

 

He buys a beef shank with the bone, deciding he’s going to make stew. Passing the bakery, he thinks of the apples on the kitchen table and decides to make a pie. He remembers the note about the bookstore and obediently goes in to look around for a few minutes, before picking up a Virginia Woolf novel, Night and Day.

 

“Brand new, this,” the shop owner assures Steve as he buys it. “You’re sure t’a love it.”

 

Steve just smiles and tucks the book in with his groceries as he leaves.

 

He hardly spent half the money Bucky had left him and Steve feels smug in his frugal choices. He could have bought a pie ready-made, but there’s flour and butter plenty in the kitchen and he remembers his ma’s recipe well enough to bake without it. Bucky, he thinks, he hopes, will be proud of him.

 

It’s not yet two o’clock when Steve gets back, but breakfast has worn off and by then he’s hungry. He slices some more bread and finds some beans in the cupboard, so he makes more toast to go with the beans he heats up and enjoys that, taking his time with it. On a whim, Steve finds an egg basket and goes back outside, stepping carefully around the hens.

 

The big black one makes a run at him. Steve makes himself bigger than her and shouts a bit in her direction; she turns on her taloned foot, squawking as she runs away with her tail fluffed. Steve smirks to himself and lets himself in the coop to collect the eggs.

 

Bucky’s hens are, apparently, quite productive, as Steve picks up four nicely sized brown eggs. He clambers back out of the coop, gives the big black hen a stern look, and walks himself back into the house. He puts the egg basket on the counter and goes looking for an apron; he likes this dress, he doesn’t want flour on it.

 

Steve gets the apron on, tying it in the back, and for a second, just stands there. He steps out into the hall, where a mirror hangs on the wall between the kitchen and dining room, and lets out a laugh.

 

“Now I really look like a housekeeper,” he chortles to himself, turning and walking back into the kitchen.

 

Steve starts on the stew, since it will need to cook for quite a long time. He starts off by taking the shank out of the butcher paper and cutting it off the bone, cleaning off the fat and sinew from the meat as he cuts it into bite-sized pieces. He sits at the kitchen table with it, tossing the trimmings into one bowl and the rest into another.

 

As he’s butchering the meat, the bell rings.

 

Steve gets up, a little confused, and drops the knife onto the cutting board and ducks away to wash his hands quickly. The bell rings again.

 

“I’m coming!” he yells over his shoulder. “Hang on!”

 

Steve dries his hands on his apron as he walks, heading down the hallway to the front door. The windows around it are cloudy, but Steve can see a tall figure silhouetted against it. Steve casts a glance towards the grandfather clock in the hall, but it’s barely three o’clock.

 

Steve takes his handbag from by the door and pulls his sidearm from it. He slips it into the pocket of his apron and leaves his hand in with it, then releases the deadbolts on the front door but not the chain. He pulls it open.

 

“Hello,” Dum Dum greets him politely. “I’m just dropping off a pal.”

 

Steve looks down. A large, pure black German Shepherd looks curiously back at him.

 

“Well, then,” Steve says, taking his hand away from the gun. “Hi, boy.”

 

The dog growls a little. Steve recoils.

 

“He’s fine,” Dum Dum says. “Can you open the door?”

 

“Yeah,” Steve says, backing off. “Hang on.”

 

He shuts the door and releases the chain. Opening it again, Dum Dum holds out the end of the dog’s lead.

 

“Name’s Bruno,” he says. “Likes belly rubs and fetch, but don’t let ‘im loose with the hens out.”

 

Steve numbly takes the lead. Bruno looks at him and decides to growl again.

 

“Have fun!” Dum Dum says.

 

“Wait, why’re you leaving him with me?” Steve demands as Dum Dum starts back down the steps.

 

Halfway down, Dum Dum turns back and shrugs. “Boss said he wanted to send the old boy home, didn’t need ‘im at the office anymore.”

 

“This is Bucky’s dog?” Steve asks, dumbfounded.

 

“Who’s else would it be?” Dum Dum counters, heading away again.

 

Steve looks down at the dog, eyebrows raised high. Bruno rumbles again, thumping his tail against the ground.

 

“Okay,” Steve says, backing up to shut the front door. “I’ve got the solution to this. C’mere, boy.”

 

Steve just drops the lead and heads back for the kitchen. He glances over his shoulder and Bruno is lingering in the doorway.

 

“C’mere,” Steve repeats, then clicks his tongue. “I’ve got something yummy for you, boy. Come on.”

 

Bruno makes a low, throaty noise, the sort uncomfortable dogs make, and Steve plucks a small chunk of the beef from the bowl, then walks back into Bruno’s sight and waves it.

 

“Come here, Bruno,” he calls.

 

Bruno lifts his ears and pads right over. Steve takes a plate down from the china cupboard, sets it on the floor, and drops the small chunk of meat onto it. Bruno happily eats it up, then lifts his head and looks at Steve expectantly.

 

“Sit,” Steve tells him firmly.

 

Bruno drops his haunches, licking his chops. Steve grabs another small bit of meat and drops it onto the plate for him. Bruno bends and happily licks it up. Steve, smug, crouches and unclips the lead from Bruno’s collar and hangs it up on a hook by the door. Bruno lays down in the doorway and lets out a whine. Steve raises his eyebrows at him.

 

“That’s enough for you,” he says in another firm tone. “At least, it’s enough of the good stuff.”

 

Bruno whines again. Steve raises his eyebrows further and the dog quiets.

 

“Good,” Steve says. “Keep that up and I’ll cook up something tasty for you special.”

 

Bruno perks up with an interested noise and Steve chuckles to himself as he resumes preparing dinner.

 

He finishes cutting up the meat and sets up a large stock pot to get the vegetables started. He finds a bottle of sherry in the pantry and fills the bowl of beef chunks, just to soak it at first, then starts cutting up vegetables. He starts with onions and leeks and as soon as he has those done, he dumps them in the pot with a chunk of butter and starts them cooking, adding sprigs of rosemary.

 

Bruno perks up again as the aroma begins to fill the kitchen. Steve casts him a smile and just carries on cutting up vegetables. He chops up potatoes and some cabbage, and by then, the onions and leeks are nice and soft, so Steve adds the rest of the vegetables, then the beef chunks and the sherry it'd been in, pints of water, and the bones. Bruno perks up at the sight of the bones and Steve casts him another smile.

 

“I’ll let you have them when the stew’s done, I promise,” Steve tells him.

 

Bruno lays down again with a low whine. Steve gives him a sympathetic pout and blows a kiss at him, then sets a skillet on the stove and starts the fire under it, dropping a wad of butter into it so he can brown the meat. When it’s hot, Steve pours the meat and sherry it had been sitting in into it and lets it cook until the liquid’s gone. After that, he scrapes everything into the pot, loosens up the remaining fat with some more sherry and adds that. He puts the lid on the pot and wipes his hands on his apron.

 

As he turns around, Bruno immediately lifts his head and ears. Steve just raises his eyebrows at the dog.

 

“What?”

 

Bruno whines a little.

 

Steve sighs and looks around the kitchen for something else to give him until he was done with the bones for the stew. His gaze landed on the discarded fat and scrap meat, then shrugs and grabs it.

 

“I hope you appreciate this,” he says to Bruno as he starts it cooking in the skillet. “This is much too rich for dogs.”

 

Bruno makes a fascinated noise and sits up. Steve turns the meat a few times in the skillet until it’s cooked, then scoops it out onto a plate and sets it on the table to cool. Bruno whines at him.

 

“Not yet, it’s too hot,” Steve tells him.

 

Bruno just whines.

 

“No,” Steve insists.

 

Bruno lies down, letting out a pathetic noise. Steve shakes his head and starts making the pie crust.

 

The stew bubbles away as Steve prepares the pie. He tosses a few apple slices to Bruno and the dog eats them happily, proving that for all his tough exterior and sharp teeth, food really is the quickest way to a boy’s heart. The pie goes in the oven around 5:30 and about 45 minutes later, it’s perfectly done. Steve, just to be really stereotypical, opens the window over the sink and sits the finished pie on the sill to let it cool.

 

Bruno whines again, catching his attention. Steve realizes he never gave the dog the trimmings and laughs a little.

 

“Poor thing,” he coos, “are you hungry?”

 

Bruno jumps up, wagging his tail, as Steve picks up the plate with the trimmings and walks it towards the back door.

 

“Sit,” he says.

 

Bruno sits readily, tongue lolling out.

 

“Wait,” Steve tells him, then lowers the plate.

 

Bruno looks at it, then up at him. Steve straightens up and sets his hands on his hips. Bruno just looks at him. Steve smirks.

 

“Go ahead,” he says.

 

Bruno dives in, chomping down on the trimmings with gusto. Steve pats him on the head and walks back over to the stove to give the stew a stir. He leans over the pot and breathes in the warm, savory scent, and leans back, smiling at his accomplishment.

 

Then arms are wrapping around him from the back.

 

“Lookit’chu, sweetheart,” Bucky chuckles in his ear even as Steve yelps in surprise. “Smells good in here.”

 

“Jesus, you scared the shit outta me!” Steve accuses, twisting to look Bucky in the eye. “I could’a hurt you!”

 

Bucky smirks and winks at him. “Nah, you knew it was me. Bruno’d be freakin’ out if it weren’t.”

 

“Well, how am I supposed to know that?” Steve demands.

 

Bucky just winks. “See you made friends with the old man.”

 

“All he needed was a bit of meat,” Steve replies, raising his eyebrows. “Seems once he understood I had his meal ticket, he was fine with me.”

 

“Usually how it goes,” Bucky answers, looking over his shoulder at the dog. “Anyone he knows belongs to me is his friend.”

 

Steve feels his ears go hot. “I belong to you, then?”

 

Bucky looks back, eyebrows lifted a little, and then he smiles again. “In the eyes of the dog, at least,” he says quietly.

 

“Just in the eyes of the dog?” Steve echoes, raising his eyebrows.

 

Bucky’s hands return to Steve’s waist, sliding around to hug him loosely. “Well, that all depends, doll,” he murmurs. “We’ll see if you decide to stick it out the full year in two weeks and then we’ll know.”

 

“I see,” Steve says, for lack of anything else to say.

 

He clears his throat and turns around to give the stew another stir. Bucky wraps a little tighter around him and Steve goes very still, the hairs on the back of his neck lifting. Bucky tucks against his back, then his lips press to his cheek. Steve sucks in his breath. Bucky lingers there, staying close to his ear.

 

“Smells real good in here, doll,” he murmurs again. “You make pie or you just happy to see me?”

 

Steve flushes hot all over and his throat goes dry. He clears it then, points to the window sill. “Pie,” he says dumbly. “I, um, I made pie.”

 

“Shame,” Bucky says softly against his ear.

 

Steve sucks in a breath, but then Bucky’s pulling away and crossing to the window. Bucky lifts the pie down and gives it a sniff, then shoots a smile in Steve’s direction.

 

“Apple’s my favorite, ‘course,” he says. “Can we have dessert first?”

 

“I worked hard on this stew,” Steve counters, though it’s weak.

 

“I’m kidding,” Bucky tells him. “It smells great, too.”

 

Steve gives a nod, then gives himself a mental slap and switches the fire off under the stew. He takes the bones out first with tongs, putting them on a plate to cool.

 

“Gonna give those to the old man, too?” Bucky asks.

 

“That was my plan,” Steve says, glancing over his shoulder. “Don’t want them to go to waste.”

 

“You’re gonna spoil ‘im,” Bucky counters, pulling out a chair at the table. “Why don’t you get a bottle of wine out for us, doll? They’re in the dining room.”

 

Steve nods and puts down the tongs. He wipes his hands on his apron, then leaves the kitchen and ducks into the dining room to get the wine. He grabs the first bottle of red he finds and leaves again, but pauses in the hallway to check his appearance in the mirror. He’s definitely flushed still, but he looks fine. Not too much flour on the apron. Steve combs through his hair for a second, then walks back into the kitchen feeling a bit more composed.

 

“There’s a corkscrew in that drawer by the oven,” Bucky tells him. “Want me to open it?”

 

“No, I can do it,” Steve says, finding the corkscrew. “This one alright?” he adds, showing Bucky the wine.

 

“Sure,” Bucky answers. “You alright, sweetheart?”

 

“What?” Steve says, turning back. “Yes, yes, I’m fine.”

 

“You seem a bit flustered,” Bucky comments, lifting a brow.

 

Steve blushes all over again. Bucky’s grin widens and Steve hastily puts the wine bottle and corkscrew on the table to turn around again and fill up bowls. He just grabs two from the china cabinet by the stove, ladles a good serving into both, and puts them on the table, one in front of Bucky and the other by the seat next to him.

 

“Wine glasses are over there,” Bucky tells him, pointing to a little cabinet by the ice box.

 

“I noticed,” Steve answers, already getting them.

 

He grabs spoons, too, and finally takes his seat at the table. He hands Bucky a spoon, then drops his into his bowl and adjusts the position of his glass nervously.

 

“Shall we say grace?” Bucky asks.

 

Steve nods and folds his hands together. Bucky, smiling, taps his wrist with a finger. Steve glances up, then down at his hand, and Bucky just holds it out, palm up. Steve prays that he doesn’t fucking blush again and sets his hand in Bucky’s.

 

“Good God, good food, good meat, let’s eat,” Bucky says simply.

 

Steve lets out a snort. Bucky winks at him and tugs the cork out of the wine bottle, then pours some into each of their glasses. Steve goes to pick his up and Bucky swats at his wrist.

 

“Let it breathe,” he scolds.

 

“Do what?” Steve returns, almost laughing.

 

“Red wines have to be exposed to the air for a minute before you can drink them,” Bucky insists.

 

Steve raises his eyebrows. Bucky just shrugs.

 

“Don’t ask me, it’s true.”

 

Steve, eyebrows still raised, dips his spoon into his bowl and lifts it to his mouth. Next to him, Bucky also tucks in.

 

“This is really good,” Bucky tells him.

 

Steve smiles and lowers his gaze again. Then Bucky chucks a knuckle under his chin and he looks up, eyes wide and startled.

 

“I hope you’re alright cooking for me all the time, because you’re amazing at this,” Bucky says.

 

“I enjoy it,” Steve answers, dropping his gaze again.

 

Bucky’s knuckle taps under his chin again and Steve looks up; Bucky cups his chin this time, his thumb resting by his jaw.

 

“Don’t look away from me, doll,” Bucky says in a soft tone. “I wanna see those pretty eyes.”

 

Steve can’t help but blush again. He should be used to compliments, but he’s not, has never managed to keep himself from flushing when he’s told he’s pretty. His heart patters in his chest and if Bucky keeps using that soft tone to compliment him, then there might be a sweet scent in the kitchen that isn’t the pie.

 

“You’re a blusher,” Bucky comments, his smile growing. “I like that.”

 

“Thanks?” Steve says, not sure what else to reply with.

 

Bucky sweeps his thumb over to his lip. Steve holds his breath. Bucky sets the pad of his thumb just on his lower lip, then presses down and pulls his lips apart. Steve just holds his breath. Bucky is just looking at his mouth.

 

“Such a pretty peach,” Bucky murmurs. “Ain’t’chu, doll?”

 

“Yes, sir,” Steve answers instinctively.

 

Bucky smiles. Then he releases him and resumes eating his dinner. Steve, for a second, can’t force himself to look away. Then he clears his throat and resumes eating.

 

The wine is drunk. Bucky finishes his bowl, then clears his throat and holds it up.

 

“Would you serve me another one, doll?” he asks.

 

Steve’s chair scrapes along the floor as he gets up. Bucky’s choice of words has not escaped him. Bucky smiles and Steve takes his bowl, then turns and fills it again. When he turns around again, Bucky’s gaze lifts up from where it had been somewhere below Steve’s waist. Steve blushes immediately, wants to duck his gaze but doesn’t. He puts the bowl back down in front of Bucky and sits again, pulling his chair back in.

 

“Good boy,” Bucky says softly.

 

Steve shivers from head to toe.

 

After the stew, Steve cuts into the pie. Bucky makes an absolutely sinful noise as he first bites into it and Steve feels his body clenching out of nowhere with arousal. He’s suddenly aware of the Alpha’s scent and every inch between them feels like miles. He hardly tastes the pie.

 

“Wash the dishes, doll,” Bucky says, leaning back in his chair. “Then come upstairs.”

 

“Yes, sir,” Steve answers quietly.

 

Bucky smiles at him, then chucks a knuckle under his chin and gets up. He whistles and Bruno scrambles up from where he’d been snoozing on the floor and follows his master down the hallway. Steve collects the dishes slowly, his heart pounding. He watches as Bucky’s feet disappear, then slows and just stops.

 

After that, I’ll reward you, Steve remembers Bucky saying the night before. He shivers again, then starts collecting the dishes in the sink to wash them. He’s eager for his reward.

 

He washes everything and leaves most of it in the drainer to dry overnight, but the larger things, he dries then and there and puts away again. He puts the lid back on the stock pot, then picks up the plate with the bones and puts two in the icebox, taking the third with him, wrapped in a tea towel, upstairs for Bruno. Steve’s ankles and fingers tremble as he heads up the stairs. The second floor is deserted. Steve continues to the third.

 

By the time he reaches the stairs going up to the third floor, he can hear music playing. Stepping out onto the third floor, Steve sees Bucky standing by the bar, a whiskey in hand and swaying in time with the slow, jazzy tune playing. There’s a phonograph set up, Steve notices now, and it’s filling the room with music.

 

Bruno lifts his head as Steve steps off the stairs, eyes fixed firmly on the bone in his hand. Bucky notices and turns, then smiles and beckons Steve closer. Steve obeys, taking sure steps, and stops just next to him.

 

“You can give that to the dog,” Bucky tells him.

 

Steve glances down, having almost forgotten the bone, then nods and clicks his tongue to attract Bruno’s attention. The dog gets up and pads over and Steve holds out the bone to him. Bruno gets his teeth on it and heads back over to where he’d been lying down to start gnawing on it. Steve turns back to Bucky.

 

“Come sit down,” Bucky says, gesturing to the sofas.

 

Steve, though he doesn’t know what to expect, sits down. Bucky sits with him, putting his glass on the coffee table, and leans back to look at him. Wordlessly, Bucky pats his knee. Steve’s mouth goes dry again and he scoots closer, then he lies down on the sofa, putting his head on Bucky’s thigh.

 

Bucky begins to finger-comb his hair. Steve lets out his breath and his eyes shut as tension begins to leave him.

 

“How was your day, sweetheart?” Bucky asks softly.

 

“Good,” Steve says.

 

“Tell me about it,” Bucky encourages.

 

Steve opens his eyes and looks up. Bucky raises his eyebrows. Steve bites his lip, then supposes Bucky must have some sort of plan, and he lets his eyes shut again.

 

So he tells Bucky about his day. From braving the hens to the shopping he’d done, and throughout it all, Bucky combs through his hair with gentle fingers.

 

Steve really likes it.

 

“Wasn’t very interesting,” he concludes.

 

“Nah, but I still like to hear it,” Bucky tells him.

 

Steve opens his eyes and looks up at him. “Is this what you want?”

 

Bucky raises his eyebrows. “What?”

 

“You want me living the dream of domesticity and then you want me to just tell you about my day after?” Steve asks.

 

“That’s not all of what I want,” Bucky answers. “But part, yeah. Is that bad?”

 

Steve thinks about it. Then smiles and shakes his head.

 

“It’s sweet,” he says. “It’s a nice change.”

 

Bucky smiles at him. “You deserve it, doll.”

 

Steve lets his gaze shift, his smile fading a bit, and he lifts a shoulder. He decides to be a bit bold and turns to put his face into Bucky’s hip and nuzzles against him, taking on his scent. Bucky sets a hand on his shoulder and continues petting his hair, then the other hand begins petting down his arm.

 

“I want to spoil you,” Bucky says quietly.

 

Steve looks up a little, through his lashes with his face still pressed mostly into Bucky’s hip.

 

“I want to make you my greedy, spoiled-rotten little pet,” Bucky continues. “I want to have you begging for my cock day ‘n’ night and whining about it when I can’t give it to you. I want to give it to you. I want to give you everything.”

 

Steve just looks up at him, a little overwhelmed.

 

“Would you like that?” Bucky asks.

 

Steve nods slowly. He presses his face in again and kisses Bucky’s hip cautiously, then looks up again.

 

“You’re so beautiful,” Bucky murmurs, a knuckle brushing across Steve’s cheek. “So sweet and shy for me, babydoll.”

 

Steve blushes at the nickname. He’s very aware of how close his head is to Bucky’s lap, to his dick, and his mouth waters. He wants it.

 

“You were a good boy today,” Bucky says, murmuring again. “Did everything I told you to. Even got yourself a treat like I asked. You’ve been a very good boy today.”

 

“Do I get my reward now, sir?” Steve asks quietly.

 

“Yes,” Bucky says. “Sit up.”

 

Steve pushes up, turning to look at Bucky. Bucky sets his hands on his shoulders and turns him back around, facing away from him, and then Steve sees his foot pushing past him, his leg stretching out on the couch. Bucky’s arms circle his waist and then he’s being pulled in, pulled against Bucky’s strong chest. Bucky’s lips press to the crest of his ear and Steve’s eyes flutter shut as he draws in a quick breath.

 

“I have a plan, babydoll,” Bucky says gently into his ear. “We’re going to take things slow. I’m not going to let you have my cock just yet, not until I think you’re really desperate for it. Would you like that? Would you like me to make you desperate?”

 

Steve takes barely a second to think about it.

 

“Yes,” he says. “I’d like that, sir.”

 

Bucky kisses his ear again, going down.

 

“Good boy,” he rumbles, and Steve feels himself go a little to pieces because of it.

 

He feels the first ooze of warmth and wetness in his hole and he shivers in Bucky’s arms. Bucky presses his lips to a spot just below his ear, then goes even further down.

 

“Do you trust me?” Bucky asks softly, his breath falling on Steve’s neck.

 

“Yes, sir,” Steve answers immediately.

 

Bucky’s lips touch gently to the collar of his bodice, just above his scent gland. Steve sucks in a breath.

 

“Do you trust me with your neck?” Bucky asks further.

 

Steve reaches up, fingers trembling. He slips a few buttons loose at the neckline of his dress, then pulls the collar open. His scent gland, pulsing with blood, is exposed to the air.

 

“I trust you, sir,” Steve says in an equally soft voice.

 

Bucky’s lips press gently down again, this time directly to his scent gland. Steve sucks in another hard breath, his heart pounding in his chest. His cock throbs and slick starts to seep out of his body at a faster rate. Bucky’s lips part above his skin, then press down again, his tongue brushing against him. Steve throws his head back and lets out a heavy moan.

 

“Good boy,” Bucky murmurs.

 

Steve positively whines. He squirms in Bucky’s arms to press tighter against him, tipping his head back father, squeezing his thighs together. Bucky's hands flatten against his stomach, then, as his tongue sweeps across Steve's scent gland again, his right hand dips down. Steve moans and opens his legs instead.

 

“Good boy,” Bucky whispers again. “Such a pretty little thing, behavin’ so well for me.”

 

“Yessir,” Steve whispers.

 

“Tell me, pretty boy,” Bucky begins, lips brushing Steve's sensitive skin, “what do you want to call me?”

 

“S–sir?” Steve questions, not sure he understands.

 

Bucky slides his hand down and cups the inside of Steve's thigh. “What do you want me to be for you?” he asks. “Your boss? Your owner? Your commanding officer?”

 

Steve shivers. Each option sounds more wonderful than the last, but he isn't sure of any of them.

 

“What do you want to call me?” Bucky asks, low, rich voice right in his ear.

 

“Daddy,” Steve blurts out. “I want you to be my sugar daddy, sir, I wanna be your baby.”

 

Yeah?” Bucky answers softly. “And will you be a good baby for Daddy?”

 

Steve nods desperately. Bucky chuckles in his ear, makes his spine shiver, and slides his hand up from the inside of Steve's thigh to cupping his crotch. Steve gasps.

 

“You're Daddy's good little pet,” Bucky murmurs. “And Daddy will always give his sweet boy a reward when he's good. You want your reward?”

 

“Yeah,” Steve moaned. “I want it, Daddy.”

 

“Good boy,” Bucky praises him and Steve falls to pieces just a little bit more. “Daddy's gorgeous little sugar baby.”

 

Bucky cups Steve's cock through his skirt and starts to pet it, stroking it through the cloth. His lips close on Steve's scent gland again and he starts sucking and licking. Steve has never had such attention paid to his scent gland, has never been pinned down like this before, and he can't keep still, he's so turned on. He doesn't know if this is all his reward entails, if Bucky is just going to arouse him and let him go, or if he's going to be allowed to come. He wants to come, obviously, but he also doesn't want the moment to end. He's good just then, he's a sweet boy, he deserves this treat. Once Bucky lets him go, he'll go back to being… him.

 

“This is all Daddy's gonna give you for now,” Bucky murmurs against his neck, playing with his cock through his clothes. “Until Daddy thinks you're ready for more, you gonna keep your clothes on; so am I. But you like it like this, don't you, babydoll?”

 

Steve nods quickly. “Yes, Daddy.”

 

“You wanna come like this?” Bucky asks.

 

“Yes!” Steve agrees desperately. “Yes, Daddy, wanna come for you, Daddy.”

 

“Good boy,” Bucky purrs. “You did what you were told so well,” he murmurs, “served me, obeyed me, did everything I asked you with such a pretty smile on your face, sugar.”

 

Steve nods, curling his toes in his shoes and flexing his hips.

 

“Such a pretty smile on your face, sugar,” Bucky repeats softly. “D’you know how much it means to me that you want to serve me, sweet thing?”

 

Steve shakes his head a little.

 

“You so want to be a good boy for me,” Bucky continues, breath hot on Steve’s neck and hand unyielding on his dick even with fabric between them. “And you are, babydoll, you are such a good boy, all for me, all for your Daddy.”

 

Steve’s eyes roll back a little. Panting hard, he grabs onto Bucky and digs his fingers in and whines, hot and desperate.

 

“My sweet little Omega,” Bucky murmurs, “my good boy, Daddy’s good little boy.”

 

“Please,” Steve whines. “Please, Daddy –”

 

“Are you close, doll?” Bucky asks, then sucks hard at his scent gland. “Tell me, sugar.”

 

“Yeah,” Steve whimpers, “‘m close.”

 

“What are you, doll?” Bucky asks him then.

 

Steve stammers for a second.

 

“What’d I just say?” Bucky adds. “What’d I call you, honey?”

 

“G–good,” Steve blurts. “I’m – I’m a good boy, Daddy, I’m a good boy –”

 

“Then come for me like a good boy,” Bucky tells him. “Come.”

 

Bucky closes his mouth over Steve’s scent gland, sucking and licking at it, and manages to rub at the head of Steve’s prick just right, so the soft cotton of his underwear soaked in precum rubs into his slit, and Steve gasps loudly. He goes rigid as he’s overwhelmed by the orgasm, taken completely by surprise with how deep and visceral it feels even with Bucky’s touch still over his clothes.

 

“Good boy,” Bucky murmurs. “Such a good little doll, sweetheart.”

 

Steve pants to regain his breath. Bucky keeps his palm firmly over the wet patch on Steve’s skirt.

 

“Tell Daddy how you feel,” he orders softly.

 

Steve nods vaguely. “Good,” he exhales. “So – so good, Daddy.”

 

Bucky kisses his cheek. “You’re a good boy,” he says. “Daddy’s proud of you.”

 

Steve shivers again. Bucky gives him another kiss, then the silence between them begins to stretch. Bucky doesn’t say anything, but after a moment, Steve figures he should get up and tries to force his noodly limbs to work. He tries to sit up, despite trembling and feeling light-headed.

 

Bucky pulls him back. “Not yet,” he says sternly. “You’re not ready yet.”

 

Steve blinks slowly. “Not… What?”

 

Bucky pulls Steve closer in his lap, then slouches both of them forward, half lying back on the sofa. He cradles Steve against his chest and lifts his knees to frame his hips. One hand remains cupping Steve’s cock through his clothes and the other lifts; Bucky sets it on his stomach and then moves it slowly up, drifting inch by inch, and as it nears his chest, Steve’s breathing picks up again. Bucky drifts his hand up Steve’s sternum, then slides it up even more. His palm gently cups Steve’s throat.

 

“Can I hold you like this?” Bucky asks quietly.

 

Steve nods quickly. Bucky kisses his cheek again.

 

“I’m going to hold you,” he starts again. “Until you’re clear-headed again.”

 

“I’m –” Steve begins. “Clear-headed?”

 

“Just relax,” Bucky tells him. “I want what you’re feeling to linger.”

 

Steve looks behind him and up, blinking slowly. Bucky looks serious.

 

“You feel good?” Bucky repeats. “Still coming down from it?”

 

Steve nods a little.

 

“Good,” Bucky answers firmly. “Enjoy it. Let it last however long it wants.”

 

Steve blinks again. He feels amazing, but also a little confused. It doesn’t really make sense that Bucky wants him to be pleasure-drunk for however long it takes the afterglow to fade naturally.

 

“Don’t you want me to go to bed?” Steve mumbles.

 

Bucky shakes his head. “Not yet,” he says softly. “I want to see you come down at your own pace.”

 

Steve nods a little. Bucky kisses his cheek again and Steve shuts his eyes, relaxing against Bucky’s chest again. He feels too good to argue. He feels good. A little bit high, a little buzzed. Bucky’s hand over his cock and his throat even makes the afterglow intensify.

 

“I want you to feel good,” Bucky murmurs. “Understand?”

 

“Yes, Daddy,” Steve answers softly.

 

So he floats. His mind is blissfully blank. Steve drifts on the high and without even meaning to, he falls asleep.

 

Steve must have fallen asleep, because he wakes up to sunlight reaching around the edges of the drapes in his bedroom. He feels even more rested than he’d been the night before and as he sits up, stretching, Steve realizes that in the two nights he’s been there –

 

He hasn’t had a single nightmare.