His stare is heavy with unspoken words. Just by staring at her, his gaze reaches into her heart, and she suddenly feels a vulnerability she cannot escape from. It’s as if he is touching her somewhere even she cannot find.
She must remind herself to breathe.
The room is dark, except for the haloed light that attempts desperately to filter in through the closed curtain. It casts a blanketed shadow over them, with only faint streaks of color. The room, which in that moment is their world, is dyed in a deep monochromatic hue.
“I never want you to forget me again.” Kaito tells her, but there is an underlying message that he cannot convey to her with his words, so he does so with his eyes. ‘Stay by my side.’ they vindicate to her. ‘Make me feel something.’ they plead with her.
Kiyomi’s chest tightens.
The air seemingly pulses with tension. It is so, so quiet; she swears she can hear Kaito’s heart drum in his chest, even across the distance between them. Suddenly, that space seems incredibly small. Perhaps the beating is being emitted by her own heart, in synchronized harmony with his. Her conscious is laced with a haze that makes everything seem outside herself.
This is not real, Kiyomi tries to tell herself. It is merely a mirage; an image reflected from her mind into this space called reality. It’s too good to be true. Her mind is playing tricks on her again.
Yet the way Kaito looks at her is all too vivid.
It is then that she understands he needs a reply.
“Then ensure I can’t forget you.” Kiyomi demands, her eyes never leaving his once. Those words fall from her tongue like a prayer. Yet her features soften, her eyes sending him a message that is too deep, too convoluted to be expressed in words. She hopes he understands when she silently tells him ‘I don’t want you to suffer anymore’.
Kaito steps forward, closing the ever-narrowing distance between them, before cupping the line of her jaw in his hand. She leans into it, closing her eyes. His hands are so incredibly warm.
And they were trembling.
Kiyomi reaches her hands up to weave through the strands of his hair, sighing as adrenaline speeds through her. Those words she had uttered, she comes to realize, give him full permission to take control. She has no idea what he would do with that power. Yet she trusts him with her entire being.
She submits herself fully, unafraid of the consequences.
Kaito moves his hand to the edge of her chin, angling her face up towards him, before his lips ghost hers. Kiyomi’s heart stops, and before she has the chance to recover, he completely closes the distance.
Like the rest of him, Kaito’s lips are so warm. Their warmth burns, a furnace surrounded by the iced casing of her heart; and as always, he melts her.
She shudders in anticipation as his hands slip around her waist, pulling him closer to her. The subtle swell of her chest rests against him, and she can feel him breathing. It leaves him unevenly.
Together, they step backwards until Kiyomi’s back presses against the solidity of the wall. Already, her breath begins to hitch in her throat.
“In that case, kiss me, until you know every inch of me, so even when your mind forgets, your body never does.” Kaito murmurs softly, his voice deep, and at first Kiyomi falters. She was fully willing to give up all control, to let Kaito have his way with her – yet with a simple twist of words, suddenly he has her under his finger. In response to her submission, he gives her the power to dominate, and given the chance, she fully intends to comply.
Kiyomi’s hands glide from his hair to rest; one on his cheek, the other around his neck. The look she gives him is different to anything he has seen from her before, and his breathing quickens. It is not a look of weakness, it is a look of determination. A look of longing. A look meant only for him.
Once again, her eyes speak to him as she reaches on the tips of her toes and pulls him to her. Their lips collide with the gentlest force – the creation of the universe beginning with a particle of dust. Kaito struggles to prevent himself from taking over. To let her hands explore him.
No, he tells himself. let her have her way with you. Let her discover you.
Make sure she never forgets you.
So he goes weak in her arms, supporting himself against the wall with his hand. Such compliance allows Kaito to feel everything fully, and he senses things he had never noticed before: Not only did she have the scent of vanilla, she tasted like it, too. And her fingers are long as they curl around him. Her bangs are just as soft as the rest of her hair. She makes the cutest noises.
Even when he closes his eyes – even when he cannot see her, she is still entirely perfect.
Tentatively, Kiyomi changes her focus, her lips caressing the edge of his jaw before kissing the side of his neck. Yet always, she uses him as a focal-point. She never draws her attention from him.
The unfamiliar pressure makes Kaito’s breath hitch in his throat, and he must swallow back the urge to gasp. Yet she senses his body twitch, and she hesitates uncertainly.
“I-Is this okay?” Kiyomi hums, her voice heavy and slurring, yet she does not give him any time to think before she rests a hand against his chest over his shirt, right above his heart, and presses her lips into the crook of his neck.
He knows she does not expect a reply.
She can decipher from under her hand exactly how he feels. His heartbeat is erratic now, pulsing uncontrollably. It becomes increasingly difficult for him to refrain from making Kiyomi feel the same way. He wants to hear her sigh into his ear. He wants to taste her again. He cannot take it any longer.
Kaito pulls away, forcing her to look up at him. For a few seconds longer, he is able to restrain himself enough to enquire of her, “Have you mapped me out yet?”
Kiyomi’s cheeks flourish a deep crimson as he continues. “I can’t let you do all the work.”
“That’s not your job.” Kiyomi replies breathlessly, a velvety smile lining her features, “I want to be able to remember you by every constellation on your body.”
“Then let me guide you.”
He cups her face in the palms of his hands, and draws them back to his lips. A hand ghosts down her arm until it meets her own, and clasps it gently, guiding it to the bottom of his untucked shirt.
“A-Are you sure?” Kiyomi breathes into the kiss, hesitant to hurt him. She knows how he has been wounded. Yet he merely presses on, allowing her hand to slip underneath and pin against the smooth skin of his abdomen. She glides her hand over knotted skin – a scar, and Kaito twitches impulsively, a small moan leaving him before he has the time to suppress it.
Kiyomi’s instinct is to apologize, yet she knows she has not caused him pain. It’s a difficult concept for her head to wrap around. Instead, she feels her own heartrate increase to meet his, and that makes the depths of her own abdomen come alive.
Her hand travels along his skin, feeling the bones of his ribs, the slight curve of his chest, before her hand comes across another piece of knotted flesh – larger this time. Kiyomi halts. She has felt it before, yet for some reason, this seems different. It is the scar over his heart. She runs the tip of her finger along its edge, painting its crossed shape in her mind as she does so. It feels rough, imperfect, unaesthetic, yet it is fully a part of him.
And she loves him, so, so much.
Knowing how that scar has affected Kaito’s life until this point, a sudden and deep pang of guilt courses through her. She pulls away from his kiss.
Kaito senses what she is feeling, and lets her trace the knotted skin. All sensation is completely lost from the scar itself, yet the skin surrounding it has become sensitive over time. Kaito cannot help but remember how in the past, such sensitivity used to be painful, yet now, it becomes stimulation, and he has to hold back the urge to sigh in pleasure.
Kiyomi rests her forehead against the crook of his neck, feeling to the fullest extent every time his breath catches, every time his heart skips a beat, and notes it mentally in her psychological representation of him. In this moment, more than any before it, Kiyomi feels the intimacy this scar serves. It is something that only she has seen. It is something only she has felt.
It is one of the myriad of things that binds them together.
Gingerly, Kaito wraps his arms around her, encasing them in a space of only them.
“This scar… It’s important to me.” Kiyomi notes hazily, pressing her palm flat against it. “It shows that you’re real. It’s something I can touch and know that you’re really here.”
“If it’s important to you, then it’s important to me, too.” Kaito replies thickly, resting his head against hers. “Please, never forget that it exists, or that it’s a part of me.”
By uttering this singular word, Kiyomi has made a promise, and fulfilled Kaito’s desire. With this, she will never forget him, and will ensure a future where there is no more ambiguity, no more uncertainty.
No more secrets.