saga/title/fandom: Day of Worship (X-Men)
rating/genre:(NC-17) - romance
warnings: slash, heated sexual intercourse
summary: On a trip to Mexico to meet Julio's parents, Shatterstar gets what he'd given up on... Julio. (Shatterstar/Rictor)
comments/disclaimers: The X-men and their world belong to Marvel, no profit or copy right infringement intended.
The big house was strange in the quiet morning. All of Julio's family was gone, no sisters chatting the kitchen, none of the brothers lazing outside in the hot and sunny yard. Even old Nonna - whose every moment seemed dedicated to watching Gaveedra with dark and suspicious eyes - was gone. They were at the church. Even Julio - the black sheep of the family - had gone.
Every one of them - except Julio - had asked him to come. The girls, with smiles and giggles. Julio's brothers - still awkward with him. Even Julio's father, lo padre de la casa. Julio had explained religion to him before and Gaveedra couldn't believe in a kind and forgiving god who'd kill his beloved. Then, all the killings in all the years that followed. All the explanations about sacrifice hadn't meant much to him. Sacrifice didn't win you anything.
Plus, the chance for some quiet wasn't something Gaveedra was willing to give up and he didn't want to leave the house completely unguarded. Children lived here - and Julio. Gaveedra didn't bother to bring his concerns up, like religion, he had very different ideas from everyone else around him. And it gave him a chance to cook.
The women always did the cooking here but Gaveedra missed it. Making food was one of the few things he knew how to do besides kill people. So he'd waited until the women were gone - dressed in their church finery - and taken over the kitchen. There was plenty of food to chose from and Gaveedra had already started a salsa verde; tomatios, green tomatoes, lime juice and hot green peppers. He had his hands deep in the chicken when he heard the lock turn and the heavy door creak open.
The rhythm of the steps were familiar and he glanced curiously over his shoulder to see Julio come into the room. "I thought you were going to the church."
"Too hot, mi compadre." Julio shrugged with a crooked smile. "Still used to el norte. What are you doing?"
"Making food." He said.
Julio was in his church clothes; an elegant ivory cotton shirt with French cuffs and dark pants that flared over his calves, the Cuban heels on his shoes clicked against the terracotta tiles as he came closer. Julio had always loved clothes, even when they'd been students together - his sister called him the peacock of the family. Gaveedra thought the joke suited him, Julio was a dancer and he was vain and he looked good in the things he chose.
"Mmm." Julio came over to peer at the raw chicken. Gaveedra felt his fingertips slide down the long rope of his braided hair. Julio did that sometimes - touched him - and lately more than he had before. Gaveedra didn't like it when most people touched him but it was different with Julio. His hands were always warm and he always smelled good. "With you here, my sisters are going to get lazy."
Gaveedra shrugged. "I do not have much else to do here, Julio."
Julio only sighed, trouble darkening his expression for a moment. Then he tossed his hair back - an old habit - and tossed the mood aside as well with a bright smile. His fingers moved back up Gaveedra's hair. "Can that wait awhile, my friend?"
"Yes." Gaveedra turned the bird in the marinade and went to wash his hands.
"Bueno. I'm going upstairs and change my clothes."
That wasn't something that Julio needed help with. Gav watched him leave, faintly puzzled for a moment. Julio looked back for a moment and his eyes were startlingly intense. There was something in them - and in his lingering scent that - made Gaveedra's breath hitch and he felt suddenly too warm. He abandoned the food and followed Julio down the halls and up the stairs to his bedroom.
Julio's room was on the east side of the big family mansion and the morning sun - already hot - spilled across the wide sill. The first thing Julio did was pull closed the sunshutters, casting his room into soothing striped dimness. Gaveedra listened again to the silence all around them - they were the only ones in the house. He wiped his damp palms on his pants.
Julio unbuttoned the wide cuffs on his fancy church shirt and pulled free the silk tie, all without looking at Gaveedra. It was as if he was ignoring him but Gaveedra could see awareness in every shift of his body, in the small tension around his mouth - in the way he smelled. He watched the creamy cotton slide down Julio's dark shoulders and suddenly stepped forward. He couldn't just watch any more.
Gaveedra hands hesitated a moment above Julio's skin as he stared at the nape of his neck. Julio had gone very still, waiting, breath held. He touched him then and Julio's soft gasp and shudder was like a shock all over Gaveedra's body. Shuddering himself, he pushed the shirt away, revealing the rise and dip of Julio's body, the elegant line of his spine and the rapid shift of his ribcage as his breathing quickened.
Gaveedra was so hard it hurt. His entire body was starved for Julio.
He wanted to say something, to make sure this was alright. For such a long time it hadn't been, Julio had been afraid - ashamed. But all he could do was make a noise and step closer, heart hammering with joy when Julio didn't move away. Gaveedra didn't know what had changed now and he didn't care. One hand slid down to grip Julio's hip and the other forward - he buried his hot face in Julio's hair with a groan as he felt the way the other man's pants were tented up. Julio moaned deeply, hands racing to unfasten his belt and then Gaveedra's hand was inside his expensive pants, feeling the thin cotton briefs and the shape of him - the damp spot on the fabric - before he fumbled his way beneath that barrier to the flesh beneath.
"Oh - oh." Gaveedra's eyes squeezed shut, he jerked against Julio's body. Instinct had him pushing against Julio, hips rocking, as his hand curled around the hot shaft and pulled. "Oh -!"
Julio was twisting in his arms and Gaveedra let him go confused, then Julio was there again. Against him, arms pulling him close, breath scorching his face, and his mouth - hot and velvet, wet and slick - the flick of his tongue like a flame along Gaveedra's lips. He caught that clever tongue, biting gently, then pressed his way into Julio's warm mouth. Julio moaned into him; Gaveedra could feel it, taste the white teeth, he yeilded to the thrust of Julio's tongue and moaned himself.
He couldn't stop stroking the bare skin of Julio's back and sides. He was so warm and Gaveedra trailed his fingertips down the shallow dip of his spine, following the inviting line with an intuitively delicate touch. Julio pushed against his hands then Gaveedra pushed his trousers down to his thighs. He nosed at Julio's hair, loving the smell of him, tongue tracing the raspy jawline. When he caught the soft lobe of Julio's ear between his teeth the other man cried out in pleasure, clutching at Gaveedra's wide shoulders.
Eyes closed, Gaveedra suckled that bit of delicate flesh as a trembling rush moved through him. His cock flexed abruptly, pressing fiercely against his zipper, and a throaty sound of hunger escaped him. Julio was writhing against him, breathing loud, hands roaming then pulling Gaveedra's shirt from his pants.
Cocksucker, asskisser, buttfucker. Gaveedra knew all the insults - he'd learned them as a child in the arena and used them himself. Now - he wanted to do them all. He chased the racing pulse in Julio's throat with gentle nips and soft sucking kisses. There was all that bronze skin and he needed to taste every inch of it.
His open mouth moved down Julio's bare chest, tongue leaving a wet trail. He licked the hollow of Julio's throat, one hand cradling Julio's head as he sighed. Gaveedra's teeth scraped over a small puckered nipple then he soothed it with gentle licks as Julio groaned and clutched at his head.
"Gav - undo your hair."
Gaveedra pulled the band free and shook his head, letting his reddish hair spill free to pour down his back and past his waist. Julio gathered handfuls of it as Gaveedra sank lower, to his knees, and pulled down Julio's pants. The dark tip of his cock had thrust its way free of the gray briefs, leaving spots of moisture on the fabric. Gaveedra inhaled, lashes fluttering at the feel of Julio's hands stroking his hair and the heavy, pungent scent of him. Gripping Julio's hips, he rubbed his face against the straining briefs, listening to Julio's murmurs.
Leaning back, Gaveedra looked up to meet Julio's eyes. With the muted sun edging the angles of his face in light and casting his eyes in shadow, Julio seemed strange - more like the polished wooden statues of saints that watched over the Church down at the other end of town than flesh and blood. His face was solemn, eyes wide as if he was drinking Gaveedra down with his gaze. It was impossible to read what he was thinking. Gaveedra hesitated, fingers hooked in the elastic of his briefs.
"Julio -" He breathed, wondering. Why now? Why here? After so long, Gaveedra had given up on this. They were friends and that was enough. "Is this alright?"
"Si, mi corazon." Julio smiled faintly, sadness lingering at the corners of his eyes. His hands soothed over Gaveedra's loose hair. "We have waited long enough, no?"
Gaveedra nodded, attention dropping helplessly down back to Julio's cock - he smoothed his hands over Julio's lean belly, dipping a fingertip into his navel briefly, then hooked his fingers in the briefs and tugged them down.
Julio shuddered a curse as his cock bounced free, bobbing in front of Gaveedra's nose. Anticipation and longing made Gaveedra sway on his knees. He wrapped a gentle hand around the sturdy shaft. The small throb under his fingers made him groan, his own cock pulsing in echo. He stroked Julio for a moment, his hand markedly paler than the gold brown skin so close to him. Fluid eased from the tip of Julio's cock, moistening the flushed head and Gaveedra's tongue swept across his lower lip. He leaned forward then to lick at the dark crown, the shock of salt and heat and musk drawing him closer. Julio's hands tightened in his hair, they were both groaning - Gaveedra muffled as he mouthed the cock in front of him - while one hand still played with the shaft.
Gaveedra loved every shape of Julio - from the narrow dancer's waist to the powerful chest, the turn of his head, the color of his hair in the Mexican sun. The brilliant smile. And he loved the shape of him here. The moist head like ripe fruit. The pulse of the racing vein along the shaft. The soft, musky warmth of his balls drawn close to the root of his cock. He rolled his tongue over warm skin, teasing the small dip at the crown and smiling around Julio as he jerked. He pulled one hand slowly along Julio's cock, mouth wrapped around the tip and sucking.
With one arm wrapped around Julio's thighs, Gaveedra sucked his cock, mumbling encouragingly as Julio began to thrust. Spit slicked his hand, Julio's cock, his chin. Gaveedra's cock throbbed in echo of Julio's movements. He gripped Julio's bare ass with his hand, loving the strong flex there, feeling it in the thrust and push of Julio's cock in his mouth.
"Ah - bello. Mas bello." Julio swept Gaveedra's hair back from his face - the side with the tattoo. His fingers stroked along Gaveedra's cheek, tracing the red star over his eye, then down to his lips to feel the way his mouth moved on his cock.
Soon, Julio was shuddering, clutching his hair and his panting rose to a fierce cry. He thrust, jerked helplessly and flooded Gaveedra's mouth. Gaveedra swallowed the pungent mouthful, gagging a little and feeling Julio's shaking hands slide to his shoulders as he sagged above him. Gaveedra released his wilting cock and rubbed his face against Julio's belly, panting. After a moment, Julio sank to his knees and leaned the side of his head against Gaveedra's.
They simply leaned together, breathing for a moment until Gaveedra made a strangled sound in his throat. Julio moved to kiss him - kissing him fiercely as if he was trying to eat him whole. All of Gaveedra's desperation came alive then and he reached down to struggle with his painfully tight pants. He met Julio's fingers and let the other man unbutton him, making little convulsive motions at the tugging. He was free in an instant and the cooler air made him gasp and then again as Julio touched his cock.
"You are so beautiful." Julio breathed, voice congested and Gaveedra opened his eyes wondering for a moment if Julio were unhappy. His eyes were hungry and he suddenly flashed that brilliant grin at him and Gaveedra smiled back, relaxing. He leaned back on his arms, arching a little and let Julio look. Perhaps it was only that it had been such a long wait for both of them.
Gaveedra had never wanted anyone - anything - besides Julio. Never in all the years since they'd been students in Xavier's old mansion when Julio had been his first friend - the one to teach him what friendship meant. Julio had also been the one to teach him what it didn't mean and for a very long time it had not meant this. It had been enough, before this moment, more than he could ever have imagined when he'd fled the arena and a life where he'd been nothing more than expensive property. It had been enough to be with Julio, to fight beside him, to stand at his shoulder, to watch his back and to be protected in turn. Now, with this moment, in the light and dark of Julio's room, it was more than enough. Gaveedra was overflowing with desire and joy.
Julio's hand slid down Gaveedra's straining cock to gather his balls in his hand. Shuddering, Gaveedra rolled his hips, pre-cum trailing from the tip of his cock to slick Julio's wrist. His head fell back, hair pooling over the wooden floor, mouth dropping open. He was so close - so ready -and the rub and tug on his balls was quickly becoming enough to send him over. "Por favor - Julio."
Julio laughed softly and flashed another of his bright grins. His hand moved - to tug teasingly on Gaveedra's twitching cock. "Come on Gav - aqui."
Helplessly, Gaveedra obeyed the touch as Julio drew them both up and guided him to the bed. They stumbled over their pants, falling onto the bed and kicking them off. Julio rolled over him, nipping at his shoulders, then sliding down to fasten a greedy mouth on one of his nipples. The pleasure of it had Gaveedra limp on the bed, staring at the broad wooden beams and plaster of the ceiling and moaning incoherently. Julio leaned back then, kneeling beside him.
His hands smoothed down Gaveedra's sweating chest. He opened his eyes to see Julio looking solemnly down at him - again that look in his dark eyes - as if he was seeing Gaveedra for the first time.
"What -? Julio - como?"
"I am sorry, Gav." He murmured.
Gaveedra pushed himself up on his elbows, worried now. Was this too much? Too fast? He would go mad if Julio wanted to stop now. "What? Julio - why?"
"To make you wait this long." Julio's hand smoothed down his body again, making him tremble. "To keep you by me and know this hunger - ah, tienendo - I could not stand to let you go from me and find another."
"I do not want anyone else. I never wanted anyone else. Only you -"
"I was a coward. Afraid to be less of a man, less macho, and not even man enough to love you when it was all that you ever asked of me."
Gaveedra rolled to his knees, facing Julio and catching those maddening, wandering hands in his own. He knew how much Julio's macho meant to him. He would never steal that from him. "Julio, Julio - anything you want. Anything you want and nothing you do not."
He cupped his hand over Julio's cheek, thumb trembling against his lips. "This is all I ever want from you."
Julio's eyes dropped away from his and he swallowed hard. Then, he looked back, meeting Gaveedra's gaze. "You are - there is no one like you in the world, Gaveedra. Nadie"
"I am the only one like me."
Julio's smile came back then. Amused and gentle then he leaned forward and kissed him. "You are the only one."
Julio's mouth was too good to refuse and if he was sorry, he wasn't sorry enough to stop and that was all Gaveedra was able to think about now. The touch of Julio's hands left heat in their wake and Gaveedra leaned back against the cool plaster wall while Julio stroked him. Kissed him. Savored him. Slid the damp brush of his tongue down his throat, across his nipples - making him tingle and ache - and down. Julio's hands were encouraging on his thighs and Gaveedra spread them, looking down at his bent head and the wide, tawny shoulders. Julio's tongue dipped into his navel and Gaveedra gasped, hips jerking and his cock bumped his chin and throat. He was so frustrated by now that even that accidental touch was almost enough to set him off.
"Julio - !"
Firm fingers circled his scrotum, pulling his balls down into their sac. With a choked sound that was very nearly a squeak, Gaveedra reared up, head hitting the wall behind him with a thump. His cock was drooling pre-cum, ruby dark and twitching at the play. Then more - overwhelming - as Julio's mouth came down on him.
Wet. Hot. Velvety soft and that was all Gaveedra knew as he convulsed uncontrollably; everything over in an instant as he exploded into orgasm with a hoarse shout.
Julio was coughing and laughing at the same time, face resting against Gaveedra's thighs. Gaveedra stroked his shoulders, blinking dazedly at the bright stripes of sunlight on the far wall.
"S-sorry -" He finally mumbled. "It was too long - mas bueno. I could not hold off any more."
Julio slid up to press a firm, salty kiss against his mouth. "De nada. Don't be sorry Gav. Sometimes I talk too much, no?"
"But we will have to try that again, mi compadre." Julio said with a teasing smile. He stretched out on the bed, making room for Gaveedra as he settled gingerly beside him. "I don't think I got the whole experience. I hardly had my mouth on you and off you go - like a rocket."
"That would be alright." Gaveedra said.
Julio chuckled then yawned. "Si."
Julio's eyes soon fluttered closed and Gaveedra thought he was dozing. He sighed, propping himself comfortably on an elbow and watched him sleep. Gaveedra was nearly ready to go again but he knew that wasn't the way other people worked - he was a mutant, he was different. He was different even for a mutant. The stripes of sun and shadow moved hot and cool across his skin, the smell of sex in the warming room, mixed with Julio's familiar scent and his own, was enough to start making him hard again. It was still so quiet. Even outside - everyone was at the church but for them. Gaveedra ghosted his fingers along Julio's skin, barely touching him. Along his collar bones, over the deep chest, the sparse hair on his belly ticklish against his skin. Julio's brows furrowed faintly and he stirred. Grinning, Gaveedra did it again, watching as he shifted in his sleep.
Julio's hand snapped up, grabbing his teasing fingers. Gaveedra, whose reflexes were inhumanly fast, let him capture them. "Asshole."
Gaveedra shrugged, still smiling. "You can sleep when you are dead."
It was an old joke, from the cold, miserable years in Canada when they'd worked under Cable and Domino. Though Cyclops had made an attempt at diplomacy, he'd been clear that they weren't considered X-men materiel and they'd been sent north. They'd hunted rogue mutants, military projects gone wrong, bizarre myths and serial killers. Cable had been a good leader but the group had never mixed well and when Julio's family had called him home - they'd both gone, very much without Cable's blessing. As far as Cable was concerned, your team was your family and Gaveedra understood that. But as far as he was concerned - Julio was his cadre, his friend and now, miraculously, his lover.
"And how do you know we're not?"
Gaveedra laughed softly and ruefully. He remembered the zombies - who'd really been nothing of the sort. Those people had been very confused when the conditioning and drugs had worn off. "Because we are not sleeping."
"Si." Julio's hand wandered down, across his face and then to Gaveedra's cock which responded with instant interest. "I see your healing is very handy, no?"
"It is good that I am insatiable, mi compadre." Julio rolled over to face him, gathering a handful of Gaveedra's hair in his hand and drawing him close for a kiss.
They kissed and touched, slower this time; they were not so frantic and could savor every touch. Julio needed more time anyway. There were places on Julio Gaveedra had not tasted yet and he took his time. He loved the backs of Julio's knees - he left wet kisses then blew on the damp skin to make him jump. He loved the way his fingers tasted and the way the curves of Julio's ear moved so easily under his tongue.
Julio had his own explorations to do. Gaveedra's body seemed alive for the first time in so very long under Julio's hands and mouth. It was like the resurrection the priest talked about but no one had to die first. Or like the arena - and still no one had to die. He lay belly down on the bed, hair spilling across his face to brush the floor and never wanted this to end. Gaveedra wanted this day to go on forever - to feel the way his cock pressed against the sheets and Julio nibbling along his calf. He wanted to live in the smell of Julio's body, the sun warmed scent of sex, mixed with the smell of cactus and dust and plaster. He wished everyone went to the church every day. Julio did not have to tell him, Gaveedra knew they would not have sex except when the house was empty.
Julio tugged and squirmed until Gaveedra was lying on top of him. He shook his head to let his hair spill down like a coppery curtain around them both. He rocked gently against Julio's belly, feeling his cock surge at the warm confinement.
"I love the weight of you, Gav." Julio murmured, shifting his thighs apart and letting Gaveedra's hips sink between them. "Mi compadre, mi corazon. Te amo."
Gaveedra kissed him, tasting the soft Spanish words, grunting when Julio bit his lip and thrust his hips. Julio's hands were urgent now - almost rough - and he was hard again. Very hard. Gaveedra breathed in the scent of his hair, licking at his throat and pushed against Julio insistently. This was good, cradled like this between his legs. He could feel Julio's balls and his cock pulsing and moist against his belly. It was wonderful. Almost as good as having him in his mouth.
"Mas. Gav -" Julio moaned then he was fumbling at his bedside table. Gaveedra leaned back to give him room. He came back with a bottle of baby oil and flipped the cap open to pour some out. It spilled, slippery and cold and Gaveedra rubbed himself in it with a grin and a breathy moan of pleasure. Julio cursed and broke off with a gasp as it slithered down to their cocks and made everything slick. "Por favor - "
Gaveedra took the bottle, squeezing some onto his hand then reached between them to pump Julio's cock, covering them both in oil. Julio clutched the sheets and moaned, eyes squeezed shut, mouth open. Gaveedra couldn't resist kissing him. And again.
Their tongues darted in and out of each others mouths and Julio put his hand down where Gaveedra was playing with his balls to show him what he wanted. He drew his knees up and pressed Gaveedra's hand down, his fingers atop Gaveedra's as he urged him to press against his hole.
"This -?" Gaveedra breathed, circling the opening with a fingertip and feeling the muscle flex against his touch. He had assumed it would be the other way; that Julio would play the man and he would not. In Mexico you weren't a man if you were the woman in bed but Gaveedra wasn't Mexican and he didn't care what other people thought. It wasn't the same for Julio. He had his family to think of, and his honor.
Under him, Julio gasped and arched into his touch, his cock flexed between them. His eyes were wide and dark, frightened and full of longing. He closed his eyes a moment, tears caught in his dark lashes. "I have wanted this, mi compadre, since the first day I saw you."
"Julio - Julio." Gaveedra breathed, kissing his face and licking at the salt on his lashes. "Anything you want. Anything - do not cry."
Julio felt good there, secretive and vulnerable and it made Gaveedra's breath catch and his throat ache. It made him shift atop him and flex his back as if he could somehow keep him safe with his body. It made him so hard. Julio clutched his hair and panted as Gaveedra stroked him there, pushed at the ring of muscle, pressed a finger gently inside him.
"J-julio -" Gaveedra breathed, shaking. Julio was making these noises, writhing a little beneath him and he was so beautiful. Flushed with pleasure, his dark hair mixed with Gaveedra's, mouth open, moaning - the flash of white teeth. Gaveedra bent and kissed him, thrusting with his tongue as he thrust with his finger. He loved making Julio feel this way. He wanted to make him feel that way with his cock.
Fumbling a little, Gaveedra oiled himself again. He wanted to be slick - he didn't want to hurt Julio and he seemed so big compared to the tight grip he'd felt around his fingers. Julio was making these little hungry sounds and it was hard to think, every time he moved Gaveedra's cock would twitch as if Julio had tied a string around him there. He had to be in him.
Braced on one arm, Gaveedra pressed against Julio, hissing though his teeth. Julio's hand was there, helping him, guiding him. There was heat and a slow, sliding touch. Julio gasped and panted as Gaveedra edged carefully into him. Then he made himself wait, tense and motionless, until Julio relaxed a little under him.
"Ohh - oh, si. Gav - si. Mas bueno."
Gaveedra moved then, pushing. Julio keened and arched, wound tight with pleasure edged with pain. His cock was hard and wet between them, the scent of pre-cum rising like a drug into the air. Gaveedra braced himself and thrust, slow and gentle at first - until Julio drew his knees up and started pushing up to meet him.
He lost all sense of anything beyond the slick, melting clench of Julio's body. Gaveedra's cock was being squeezed and squeezed and squeezed. He was grunting low in his throat as he thrust into that heat, pinning Julio beneath him while he made little gasping 'oh's!' of pleasure. Gaveedra was vaguely aware of the bed creaking rhythmically as they moved and the rumpled, sweaty sheets he clutched in his fingers. All that mattered though was Julio; his body under him, the dig of his fingers in Gaveedra's hips - pulling him faster, harder, deeper. The way he moved, the little, maddening, impossible swing of his hips as he arched onto Gaveedra's cock. The way he cried Gaveedra's name, wanting more, telling him how good it felt, loving him.
Loving him with the slippery, tight pull of his asshole. Loving him with every buck and cry and shuddering moan. Gaveedra sank down atop him, shaking, buried his face in Julio's tangled hair and loved him back with his cock, his mouth, his skin - with everything he had. Everything he was. Julio was wrapped around him, arms and legs, and Gaveedra was instinctively trying to drive him into the mattress. It was so good, so tight, so hot - so much - and too much and he was coming. Like a rocket. A shock like dying went through him, white fire rushed up his spine and Gaveedra was shouting, lost - joy pulsing through him, out of him, into Julio. Under him, Julio stiffened, yelled, rose to meet Gaveedra's hard, instinctive thrusts and heat rushed over their bellies as he came between them.
Gasping, Gaveedra collapsed. Julio's heart thumped against his chest - and around his cock. The grip on his oversensitive shaft made him groan and draw away, slipping free of Julio who gasped and flinched under him. Spent and still shaking, Gaveedra murmured softly in Spanish, kissing Julio's sweat slick forehead and stroking him gently. Julio was trembling too and rolled over to press his face to Gaveedra's neck then sighed shakily. Gaveedra kneaded the nape of Julio's neck as he felt his arms go around his chest, holding him hard. He was too stunned to find any words and Julio seemed content to simply breathe against him.
Finally Julio drew back slightly, still flushed and Gaveedra had to kiss him. Julio's fingertips traced his face, outlining the star over his left eye and he looked amazed, as if he were seeing Gaveedra for the first time. "Gav - te amo."
"I love you, Julio. No one else. Never anyone else." Gaveedra responded with a shiver. That had always been true.
"You are the only one, mi compadre. Mi corazon. The only one."
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