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One More Night

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Just a graze of her hand, a whisper in his ear when no one was looking. It may have even looked accidental. Harmless. They had mastered how to make it seem that way, but it always ended up with him pushing her against the nearest wall and kissing her senseless. Hands roamed and tugged, lips crashed and bruised, all thanks to the bathrooms of the Roller and having the key to the dressing room. Working there really had its perks when she kept looking at him like that and driving him insane.

In more ways than one.

They always fought, with everyone as witness. It was always the same: The Red Sharks versus The Roller Team. Along with her “friends,” she vowed that they would crush them to the ground, that they would never win against them.

He and Luna said the opposite, that people like them would never win; not then, nor ever.

They looked at each other from opposite sides. They were rivals in the rink, and it seemed like even at life.

They always said harsh things. They mocked and they snarled.

 

But then, an hour later, they were snarling for a whole different reason.

 


 

The moment her door was locked, he grabbed her in his arms and pushed her against it, her legs going around his hips and locking behind his back. He held her by the thighs as he started devouring her mouth, making her mew against his tongue. She tore off his jacket before grabbing the edge of his t-shirt as well, forcing Simón to break the kiss so he could take it off. Her hands roamed his chest as she kissed his neck, licking his skin in the most sinful of ways, making him groan and pull her own shirt off so he could return the favor.

He left open-mouthed kisses in between her breasts as he grabbed her ass, pressing her against him. He trailed her chest with his tongue before coming back up to reclaim her mouth and they kissed with abandon, the feeling so hot and wet that they got dizzy, drunk on each other. They were so close that a pin couldn’t fit between them, the contact of skin against skin only making them more desperate for more.

He turned around and moved them to the bed, both falling on top of it without pulling apart from each other. He tugged off his shoes and socks and helped her do the same with her own, the footwear joining the rest of discarded clothing. Ámbar parted her legs so he could nestle in between them, his lips going to her neck as her fingers grabbed handfuls of his hair and pulled every time he tasted and nibbled one of her sensitive spots, which he had all memorized by now. Soon she was moaning his name, just like he wanted, and his right hand went to her breast, cupping it beneath her bra, making her moan even louder. In a matter of seconds, they discarded the whole thing and threw the garment away, freeing her nipples to his avid tongue.

She panted his name, her nails digging in the back of his neck, desperately keeping him there as she enjoyed his ministrations. Simón took his time, paying attention to both breasts as she writhed underneath him. After a while, he replaced his mouth with one of his hands, returning his lips to hers hungrily, wanting to swallow her sounds of ecstasy, to feel them against his tongue.

He moved his left hand to her right leg and lifted it up, securing it at his hip. Their hips came in contact, letting her feel just how ready he was for her. Ámbar’s nails went down his back and he growled into her mouth as she rolled her hips relentlessly, urging him to move things along.

He let go of her lips and left kisses down her neck. He bit her collarbone and licked his way in between her breasts before going lower, a butterfly kiss on the edge of her shorts making her hips jerk up on instinct. Simón looked at her from his position and she could see the hunger in his eyes, his irises almost black with desire. He undid the buttons of her shorts and Ámbar quickly helped him take them off. Before they even touched the floor, his lips were already on her right leg, kissing all the way up from her ankle to her thigh.

He was so close to where she was aching for him that she squirmed, but he didn’t give her what she needed, starting the same process with her other leg instead. She growled and, next thing he knew, Simón was on his back with Ámbar on top of him, holding his hands above his head. She leaned down and kissed his neck, sucking and biting hard in reprisal but not enough to leave a permanent mark. They had that rule: don’t leave any mark that could give them away.

He tried to move his hands but she kept them there, taking her time trailing the planes of his chest, savoring the taste of his skin. Simón groaned. Of course, he was stronger than her and so could free his hands if he so wished— They both knew it. But he relented because he liked her power. This, they also knew.

Once she felt his wrists relax, she let them go and instead moved her hands down his chest, leaving her lips free to return to his own. She pecked them before moving away, enjoying the way he followed her mouth. She did it again, leaving the briefest of kisses on his lips before separating hers, a frustrated sound emerging from his throat.

“Ámbar,” he warned, his voice low and raspy.

She smiled devilishly at him and then complied, kissing him fully. Their tongues found their way to each other and tangled. Teeth joined the mix, biting lips, leaving them red. Ámbar’s hands moved down his body, feeling his pecs and flat stomach. She brought her right hand even lower and grasped him through his jeans, devouring the gasp he produced. She began to stroke him and that was the end of his self-control.

He rolled them and kissed her with fervor as she got him free of his pants. His hands went to her hips, and she lifted them so he could pull her panties down, his own underwear quickly following so there was nothing in between them. He nudged her legs apart and she whimpered when she felt him, needing him so strongly she felt she’d go insane. He entered her slowly, a moan leaving them both at the feeling.

Simón grabbed her waist. She felt heavenly, gripping him so perfectly tight that he couldn’t help but think that they belonged together, like two pieces of the same puzzle. Ámbar was equally floored from how thick he felt inside her, so burning hot that she felt she was going to melt. Then he started moving and her brain actually did melt, the pleasure too strong to think about anything else that wasn’t him and the sinful way he kept hitting that spot inside her that made her see stars.

Simón thrust deep, as deep as he could go, losing himself in the feeling of her. It was always like that between them: hard and fast, earth breaking and consuming. He dug his face in her shoulder and grabbed handfuls of her sheets as he moved with abandon. She dug her nails into his back as she rocked against him, just as wildly, filling her bedroom with the wet noise of their bodies as they collided. He hissed and let out breathless noises as he pumped into her, getting closer and closer to the edge, the need for release an aching madness.   

Her body started tensing as her breathing got raspier and he knew she was close too. He didn’t know how much longer he’d be able to hold on, so he adjusted the movement of his hips, making it so he rubbed her clit with every thrust. Ámbar let out a loud gasp and hurried to drown her cries on his shoulder, biting into it to quench her sounds. Simón wished she could let them out, scream his name at the top of her lungs, but he knew she couldn’t. If anyone heard them, it would be over.

He grabbed her face in his hands and kissed her hard as he shoved into her, swallowing her gasps and whimpers as the pressure built inside her. Three more deep thrusts and an explosion of pleasure ripped through Ámbar, making her whole body quake. She clenched around him, hard, the pulsing feeling milking his own climax and Simón couldn’t hold on any longer. He let go with a muffled grunt, fireworks going off behind his eyelids as he spilled inside her.

Once spent, he collapsed over her, his strength gone, his limbs like jelly. They stayed like that for a while, coming down from their high and trying to slow down their breathing. Gradually, their brains got back to functioning, and Simón tried to hold on to the feeling of having her pressed against him.

He knew it was only a matter of minutes before he had to leave again.

 


 

They’d been doing this for some time, seeing each other behind everyone’s back, screwing each other’s brains out and then acting like nothing had happened.

They were adults after all. They had needs that they could help each other out with. It wasn’t a rare arrangement. Many others did it— They could too.

And it would be okay, really, if it wasn’t for the fact that each time he kissed her, each time he touched her, each time he was inside her, he was filled with only one thought.

I love you.

But she didn’t feel the same.

Each stroke of his tongue against hers was a silent plea for her to understand. Each time his fingers ran across the side of her legs he was begging her to feel. With each hard thrust and breathless pant, he was desperately trying to let her know— To know that he loved her, that he could help her, that he only wanted what was best for her and that if she only let herself fall, they could be perfect.

Each time they came apart in each other arms, he was telling her he could catch her.

But each time, he faced reality and saw that she didn’t want to change. That she didn’t really want this, didn’t really want him. She wanted the fun, she liked to have him at her mercy, but she’d never come clean to her so-called friends. She’d never make peace with his or have an actual conversation with him.

She didn’t want him. She didn’t want his company just for company, she didn’t want his ‘life lessons’, she didn’t want his help, didn’t want his words, didn’t want to be with him.

So he acted like he didn’t want that either. Like he didn’t dream of just holding her hand and walking in the sunlight in front of everyone to see. Like he didn’t want to make her smile, take her on dates, skate with her, sing with her, hold her close just for the joy of having her in his arms, not because he was expecting more.

And it would be okay, if only it were true.

He had told himself many times that he needed to stop this, that it wouldn’t do him any good. Each night, he laid awake in the loft after coming back from her place, with the guilt eating him alive. He was lying to his friends, going against the Roller Team, and all for what?

When he laid alone in the dark, he always told himself that that was it, that he wouldn’t do it again, that he wouldn’t go back to her.

And then he always did. He swore it’d be just one more night, that after that he’d talk to her, tell her that he couldn’t keep doing this anymore, that if she wanted him, she was gonna have to want all of him.

But it was never just one more night and they never had that talk and she always just kissed him goodnight and sent him on his way.

And the worst part was that he was kinda thankful for it because she could just not kiss him at all. But she always did, every time before he had to leave. It filled him with hope that maybe she did want him, that that kiss meant she didn’t want to let him go just as much as he wanted to stay.

It was that kiss, that damn kiss, that always had him coming back.

 


 

Three days later, he was with Luna for dinner at her house after both had returned from the Roller. Mr. Alfredo was also there, at the head of the table that looked way too big with only three people sitting around it. Luna had taken seat on her usual spot at Alfredo’s right, so Simón sat across from her as they talked about their day with the old man.

They were all laughing about some anecdote from Alfredo’s younger days when, suddenly, a voice rang out.

“That’s my seat.”

Simón turned around and there was Ámbar, looking as dark and beautiful as ever. She was giving him a pointed look, seeming slightly annoyed at him for usurping her place. But he knew that in truth she wasn’t really pissed. This little territorial act was just to make it look like they didn’t get along.

“Ámbar…” Alfredo started to reprimand her, but Simón stopped him with a gesture of his hand.

“It’s okay, Mr. Alfredo. I don’t mind moving.”

She gave him a fake pleased smile as he stood up, taking his plate and glass and exchanging them with the empty ones on the seat on his left. They always arranged a seat for Ámbar in case she decided to join, even if she hardly ever did.

“Simón, you really don’t have to suit her whims,” Luna argued, outraged that his friend was acting like a butler when he was a guest.

Simón just shrugged. “It’s okay, Luna. If she really needs something as petty as a seat to feel better with herself, so be it,” he responded condescendingly, sitting down again.

That was his part: playing along.

Ámbar took her spot next to Alfredo as Luna sent her a glare from across the table, but Ámbar ignored her as she served food on her plate. The atmosphere was strained for a moment until Alfredo talked again, asking Luna about the Blake and her friends and making jokes that made his granddaughter laugh. Just like that, the good mood was restored, and the conversation flowed anew.

Simón, though, was a little distracted.

Having Ámbar right next to him and pretend he didn’t care had always been a hard task. He had to make a conscious effort to keep his eyes from looking at her, but then again, even when she was on the other side of the room he had the same struggle. Like a moth to a flame, his eyes always seemed to find her, and if he could get his way, he knew he’d stare at her all day long.  

But he couldn’t let himself do that, so he focused on Luna as much as he could, listening to what she was saying about the new movie she went to see with Jim and Yam and the preparations she was making for the new Open Music. He was glad to see her happy. She had been through a lot lately, but she hadn’t let that take her down. How she could always see the positive side of every situation and keep a smile on her face amazed him— It was one of the things he admired of her the most.

It was so easy to let himself get riled up by her energy and excitement that soon he was laughing alongside her, joking about whatever, didn’t really matter what. For a moment, he actually managed to forget that Ámbar was beside him. 

That, until he felt her hand on his thigh.

His laugh died abruptly, so much so that Luna worried.  

“Simón? It’s something wrong?”

Under the table, as discreet as he could, he grabbed Ámbar’s hand and moved it away from him, back to her own lap.

“Um, no, I just—” He pretended to cough. “Got a little bit of food stuck on my throat there for a second. You were saying?”

Luna got back to retelling something Nina had told her the other day when the hand came back. Simón tried to eat as if nothing was happening, but then Ámbar started moving it higher, slowly over his inner thigh. Higher and higher and— How was this legal?!

He took advantage of Alfredo talking to Luna to move Ámbar’s hand away again, more forcefully this time, begging to every god that she would keep it to herself. Thankfully, she did, but now he was more conscious of her than ever, his whole body on alert, and some degrees hotter much to his dismay. Luna turned to him once more and he had no idea how she didn’t realize that he wasn’t paying attention at all— He just nodded his head and smiled whenever she finished a sentence.

Right when he was starting to believe that his torture was over, a sinful noise came from his right.

Mmmm this is so good,” Ámbar moaned in a way that made him clench his jaw and grip his fork way too tight. “Mónica really has a gift.”   

“Yeah, she does,” Alfredo agreed with a smile, looking happy that his granddaughter was finally making some positive comment.

He had no idea what the little devil was actually doing.

“Why is she not here by the way?” Ámbar questioned, apparently intrigued by the lack of Valentes. 

“Oh, it’s their date night, they’ll be back late,” Alfredo answered.

“Interesting,” she mused, and he could tell by her calculating smile what she was thinking. “Well, it was delicious but I’m gonna head back to my room for the day.” Ámbar wiped her mouth with a napkin and stood. “Bye everyone,” she said, deliberately leaning her hand on the back of his chair as she did.

Simón drank from his glass with his eyes fixed on the front, refusing to let them watch her go. The sway of her hips as she walked was not the mental image he needed right now.

Actually, what he needed was no images. At all.

He drank harder.

“Well, I’m going to go too,” Alfredo said after a moment, standing up a little laboriously because of his age. “Beautiful evenings like this were made to be enjoyed outside. There’s nothing better than watching the sunset. What about you, Luna?”

“Ugh, I have homework due tomorrow,” she lamented. “If I don’t start now, I’ll never get it done. Simón, would you mind if I don’t walk you out?”

“Huh? Oh, no, not at all,” he answered, standing up too when he noticed everyone else had done so.

“Great,” she said chirpily as she got out of her chair and over to him. She kissed him on the cheek as a goodbye before rushing to her room. Alfredo too gave him a farewell before walking away.

Simón walked towards the front door. He held it open and looked over his shoulder, waiting for Alfredo to disappear outside. Once he did, he pushed the door closed, made a quick once-over for Rey or Maggie, and after not seeing either, climbed up the stairs as quickly and as quietly as he could.

By this point, he had all those steps memorized: pretend you’re leaving, close the door, check for prying eyes, walk upstairs. The first few times, he had been terribly nervous, his heart pounding in fear of being caught. But now that he was more accustomed to it, he did it without thinking, like a learned choreography.  

Usually, he would go to her door and knock in their code rhythm to let her know it was him, but he skipped that last step, barging in and closing the door behind him. 

“What the hell was that?!”

His voice, sadly, couldn’t be more than a whispered yell less he wanted to be found out, but he made sure to make his outrage loud and clear.  

Ámbar, who had changed into a black nightdress and was sitting on her bed, stood at the sight of him. 

“Finally! I was getting tired of waiting,” she said, moving towards him with a coquettish smile, but Simón moved away from her hands.

“Ámbar, you can’t just do stuff like that, Luna was present— MR. ALFREDO WAS PRESENT— What is wrong with you?!”

“Oh don’t be so melodramatic, it was just a little fun,” she said dismissively, getting closer once more. “And besides, they didn’t even notice a thing.”

She traced his chest with her hand, slowly sliding it to the back of his neck. Her eyes were staring into his, giving him that look, that look that pulled him in, that made him want to…

NO! FOCUS!

He shook his head to clear it, pulling away from her touch once again.

“No. You can’t just pull a stunt like that and expect me to let it slide.”

Ámbar rolled her eyes. “Ugh, here you go again.”

“Yeah, because if you think it’s funny putting me in a position like that, it’s not. We agreed that this would be a secret and then you go ahead and do stuff like that— What were you even thinking? And now you’re acting like nothing happened at all and looking at me that way, and I don’t think you really know me if you think I’m gonna fall for that. You can’t just do that, it’s not going to work. Do you really expect me to—”

Ámbar took off her nightdress and dropped it on the floor.

Simón’s ranting came to a halt. And so did his heart, only to re-start at full speed immediately.

“Uh…”

She was in front of him wearing nothing but a pair of black panties and all of the sudden it was really hard to think. Probably because all the blood in his brain went speedily south.

He was trying to recall what he was mad about when Ámbar spoke again, her hands on her hips.

“So? Are you just going to stand there? I mean, if you want to leave, you’re free to go, I can always take care of it myself. It wouldn’t be as fun but…”

Oh, fuck it.

With a groan, Simón marched forwards and claimed her lips, pulling her flush against him. Ámbar wasted no time in wrapping her arms around his neck and sinking her fingers in his hair as she kissed him back with fervor. Her smooth, hot skin under his hands felt marvelous, further stoking the fire within him, and when she pulled on his bottom lip with her teeth he couldn’t help but groan once more— She knew what that did to him.

Simón lifted her up, stealing a sound from Ámbar that was muffled by his lips, and promptly dropped them both onto the bed in a mess of wandering hands. He had to part and look behind him to get rid of his damn stubborn shoes, a pause she used to back up closer to the headboard. She waited leaning on her forearms for him to join her, and he followed like a parched man chasing water, molding his body over hers and delving his tongue inside her mouth. The moan she let out was richer than any drink. 

His hands traveled down her thighs, hitched on either side of him, as Ámbar ran hers over his back, impatiently pulling on his shirt until he took it off. Simón started sucking and licking the skin of her neck, getting drunk on the wildness of it all as she arched and shuddered underneath him. Her nails traced his chest and abs before getting to the edge of his jeans, making quick work of the buttons before pulling them down. He kicked them off and moved back up her body, their lips meeting again and her hips rising. She was rubbing herself against him, begging for relief. Sparks ran down Simón's back, pooling between his legs. Deep, strangled sounds came out of his throat as their hips rolled together, restless, impatient. The warmth of her mouth and her hands on him had him dizzy.

Every time there was a battle between his mind and his body, it was the latter that won. It was always like that when it came to her— Even when he wanted to resist her, he couldn’t. He didn’t know if he hated that or it excited him. Maybe both. Right now, it was definitely the latter. There was just something so hot about the way she drove him mad. How a strong urge overwhelmed him and it was like neither could get enough of the other fast enough. 

And that was what he wanted right now— Fast, hard, take her as he had done many times before. Like she urged him to.

But no. No, it was time he stopped letting her consume him. Regardless of the heat and how much he wanted her, he was not going to let it be just like any other time. He couldn’t. His body may end up satisfied, but his heart didn’t. They'd done this dance enough times to know that the relief would be fleeting and the ache in his chest persistent. He needed to change their dynamic. Turn it into something deeper than just a quick romp. He needed to make her feel.

With that determination in mind, Simón slowed down his movements with great effort. His hands stopped roaming, staying in her hips instead and slowing them down as well. His bruising kisses turned into caresses, butterfly touches and long strokes of his tongue against hers. Ámbar whined, maybe thinking he was stopping, but he proved her wrong by leaving kisses down her chest as he dragged her panties down her legs. He left one last kiss on her birthmark and got rid of his own underwear. He made his way back up caressing her legs, kissing her inner thighs as he pushed them wide to settle between them.

He looked into her eyes, made sure that she was looking at him as entered her slowly. Ámbar moaned and closed her eyes once he filled her, and he had to hold back the urge to grab her hips and pound into her hard. Instead, Simón cupped her face and kissed her passionately, starting a steady tempo of slow, deep thrusts, and it felt so incredibly good. Like this, he could feel every flutter of her walls around him, notice how she sucked him in inch by inch before he pulled back once more.  

Ámbar trembled and gasped. Simón left her lips and kissed her cheek, her neck, her shoulder, every single freckle on her chest. As her hands roamed his back, he moved his over her breasts, her waist, the flare of her hips, memorizing every one of her curves, trying to paint her skin with the color of his touch. He wanted her to remember it: the feeling of his hands, the softness of his lips. He wanted her to remember him and how he made her feel.

As he felt her getting closer, he took hold of her face. “Ámbar, look at me.”

Her eyes, shut from pleasure, opened at the sound of his voice, meeting his own. Simón stared into their blue waters willing her to see him, really see him, make her realize that the connection they shared wasn’t just physical, that it could be so much more. Their tempo increased as they chased their high, as he sought desperately to give her hers, give her everything. Their breaths come out in pants, sounds of bliss— They never looked away from each other. Not until it all became too much and the world fragmented into a thousand fireworks.

Both were left shaking, Simón resting his body against hers as he tried to re-catch his breath. Once his beating heart got back to normal, he rose on his forearms and opened his eyes, finding Ámbar looking at him. He was still high from his orgasm and she looked so beautiful with her flushed cheeks and disheveled hair that all he wanted was to kiss her again. He inched forward, going after her lips, but before he could reach them, Ámbar spoke.

“You’re heavy.”

Simón paused. His eyes traveled from her lips back to her eyes. They were serious. Cold. 

He sobered up fast.

“Right. Sorry.”

He rolled off her and sat against the headboard as she searched for her nightdress with her back turned to him.

The moment was gone.

Holding back a heavy sigh, Simón reached for his discarded boxers. Taking off their clothes was fun, but the dressing back on was always awkward. He always felt like he was doing the walk of shame as he put on his jeans on one side of the bed while she clothed on the other.

The atmosphere was even more strained that night. He knew he had made things more intimate than they tended to be, but he had wished it’d had the opposite effect— Pull them closer instead of more apart. And it had been great, they had connected in a way they never did before, she had looked him in the eyes as she felt apart between his arms. But immediately after that, she had closed off.

She didn’t look annoyed though, nor had she shown she disliked it. She hadn’t made a comment, in fact— She just calmly went to her drawers for a new set of panties and fixed her hair silently as he put back his clothes. One could even believe she didn’t notice the difference with the way she was acting, but he could tell by the lack of sassy remarks that she did.

Like always, once he was dressed she followed him to the door, pulling it open and peeking her head out to check for any prying eyes before taking a step back and letting him walk through it.

He stood on the other side of the door awkwardly, looking at her, not really knowing what to say so he just said what he always did.

“Well. Goodbye, Ámbar.”

“Bye,” she uttered with her hand on the handle.

She gave no sign of moving forward. She wasn’t going to kiss him this time and Simón hated himself. Why did he have to go and do that? Why did he have to scare her away? Before this, at least she was happy with him when it was time to go. Now she was gripping the door handle like she couldn’t wait to get rid of him.

After long seconds of nothing, he lost hope and gave up with a heavy heart. He turned around to leave, trying to conceal his expressions so he didn’t look disappointed, when all of a sudden her hands grabbed his face, pulling him down so her lips could mold with his.

Simón couldn’t help but sigh into Ámbar's kiss, part from relief and part from the feeling of it. Maybe it was just his imagination, what he wanted to believe, but he could swear that this kiss was different. Their lips were barely moving, his bottom lip captured between her own, but it was deep somehow in its slow softness, so much so that it made his heart ache.

Infinite seconds later, Ámbar pulled apart, bringing her hands back to her sides. Their eyes opened and found the other’s gaze. Simón's heart was racing. He had to ask. He had to ask why she always did that. How she could kiss him goodbye without feeling anything at all because he couldn’t.

He needed to know. It was perfect timing, he had to ask her why.

But just as he opened his mouth, he heard a sound to his left.

They both sprung apart, turning to the sound. No one had appeared yet, but it looked like someone was coming. Maybe Maggie was coming back from cleaning some room or Rey from... whatever the hell he did. It didn’t matter— He couldn’t stay to find out.

He stole one more glance at Ámbar before rushing down the stairs, trying not to be too loud, and he closed the front door behind him as quietly as he could, running right after toward the main gate. Simón didn’t stop until he was one street away and the coast was clear.

He walked back to the loft under the moonlight, already forming in his jumbled thoughts the lie he was gonna tell his friends when he arrived, and he couldn’t help but feel disheartened.

Once again, he hadn’t asked, they hadn’t talked, and he was thrown back into the same cycle of secrets, lying, and longing. God, how he longed.

Simón looked at the stars one more night, hoping one of them would fall and grant him his wish.

Cause once again he was left with her scent on his skin, but without any real indication that he held her heart.

 


 

The Open Music was just one day away and Ámbar was in the dressing room checking if the make-up there was sufficient or if she would have to bring her own. She was putting the box back into the shelf when all the sudden a pair of hands grabbed her hips from behind. She smiled. She hadn’t told him to meet her, but she wasn’t going to complain about his enthusiasm. The moment she turned around though her smile fell.

“Benicio.”

He showed her a flirty smile.

“In the flesh. Who else would it be?”

She moved his hands away from her.

“What are you doing here?”

“Well, I saw you were in here and I decided to say hi.”

He moved a piece of her hair behind her ear and Ámbar felt chills run down her spine. Bad chills. It actually surprised her how little she liked it.  

“Well, hi. Now, if you excuse me…”

She tried to leave, but he held her by the waist, keeping her in place.

“Oh, come on, why leave so soon? I doubt someone’s gonna come in. We are alone for the first time in forever and I, for one, think we should take advantage of it.”

His voice was smooth and heated in a way that was supposed to be tempting, but Ámbar desired nothing but to get out of there.

He had her pinned against one of the mirrors now, a position she had grown accustomed to lately. But while those times she’d felt elated—Simón’s hands on her body, his lips on her own— now she felt trapped, warning bells ringing inside her head. Benicio was looming over her, and she was trying to keep her body as far from his as possible but there was no space.

“Have you stopped to consider that maybe we hadn’t been alone together because I didn’t want to?”

“Oh please, Ámbar, don’t keep up the act. You and I both know very well that you like me, you just don’t want to admit it,” he said confidently, his face moving closer to hers. She moved away as much as she could, letting out a scoff.

“You are so full of yourself. I don’t like you, I never did. Now let me go.” She pushed his arms, which he had on either side of her, but they didn’t budge. She was trying to appear confident and unaffected, but in truth, she was starting to get nervous. Benicio was usually easy to deal with but now he didn’t seem to be getting the hint. Instead, he grabbed her upper arms, holding her still.

“Your kisses said otherwise,” he retorted, and his confidence was real, blind to everything but what he wanted. “Admit it, you like playing hard to get. And I enjoy that, really, I do. But at some point, you have to give in.”

He leaned down, and Ámbar had to turn her head in order to avoid his lips, which landed on her cheek.

“Benicio, I’m dead serious, let. me. go.”

Once again, she tried to push him away from her, but Benicio didn’t even seem to feel it. He kept his hands on her shoulders as he trailed kisses down her neck. It made her feel sick. Ámbar tried to kick him but his legs caged hers. He had her immobilized.

“Benicio, stop! Let go of me!” She was moving, trying to shake him off in any way she could, but she could still feel his tongue on her skin. One of his hands slid under her shirt as his lips moved towards her ear, making her eyes close tight in revulsion. Panic overcame her and she screamed. “GET OFF ME!”

One second later, she felt him being ripped away from her. She opened her eyes and saw someone pushing Benicio away from her. His back was to her, but she could recognize him anywhere. Simón.

“What the hell are you doing?!”

Ámbar immediately moved away from the mirror. If looks could kill, Benicio would've been dead. Simón was staring him down with a hatred she had never seen in him before, his face red with fury.

“What am I doing? Who the fuck do you think you are to push me!” Benicio barked back.

“I’ll do something way worse than just push you if you don’t walk away right now,” Simón warned, getting on his face.

“And why would I? You’re the one that’s interrupting, we were doing great without you.”

“She was clearly telling you to stop, didn’t you realize that?! What is wrong with you?!”

“That’s just part of our game, she likes it. Tell him, Ámbar.”

Ámbar’s eyes flew wide open when he looked at her. She was holding her arms, hugging herself. She was still shocked about how powerless she had felt, how defenseless. She didn’t want to think about what could’ve happen if Simón hadn’t walked in.

Simón moved in front of her, blocking her from Benicio’s stare.

“Don’t push her into this anymore! Don’t even look at her, you piece of shit. I always knew you were rotten, Benicio, but I had no idea to what degree— You are sick. I’ll make sure you get banned from the Roller, and you better not cross ways with me or Ámbar ever again because if you do, I swear to god, you will regret it.” 

He opened the door that was on Benicio’s left and then turned to Ámbar, grabbing her hand. “Let’s go, Ámbar.”

He was one step from going out when Benicio stood on his way, blocking the door.

“Don’t think you can insult me and then just leave— We still have business you and I! We were doing just fine when you came along with your attack of jealousy.”

Simón let go of Ámbar’s hand and stood face to face to him.

“This has nothing to do with jealousy, you were forcing yourself on her and thank god I was near the stage because who knows what you would’ve done, you bastard!” He was heaving, his fists so tight that his knuckles were white but he didn’t want to let him rile him on. He wasn’t worth it. All he wanted was to take Ámbar away from him, take her somewhere safe and comfort her. She looked shaken, understandably so, and all he wanted was to hold her.

But Benicio had other plans. He didn’t look deterred at all by Simón’s words, he just kept standing in his way, a mocking smile on his face.

“Was I really? Or do you just not want to believe that we’re seeing each other? That she likes me and not you?”

“You’re delusional,” Simón spat.  

“Look at you, all enraged. The nice Simón fuming. You know why you’re so angry? You know why this bothers you so much?”

He got even closer, his voice taunting him.

“Because you wish it was you with her. Because you can’t stand the fact that I’ve fucked her and not you.”

Ámbar gasped. It was such a vile lie— She had never gone further than kissing with him. Hell, she hadn’t even kissed him more than twice and only out of boredom.

She didn’t have the time to deny it though, because one second later Simón’s fist connected to Benicio’s face, sending him flying to the ground.

“Simón!”

He was over Benicio on the floor, straddling him as he punched him repeatedly. Benicio kicked him in the stomach and took that moment to invert their positions, but Simón wasn’t about to stay down so they started rolling on the ground as they fought each other.

“Simón, stop!” Ámbar yelled. She didn’t know what to do, he wasn’t listening to her.

Suddenly, a thunderous voice erupted in the place.

“WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!”

It was Gary. With a single jack, he grabbed each boy by the neck of their shirts and pulled them up, pushing them apart on either side of him.

Benicio wiped the blood that was dripping from his broken lip with the back of his hand. “He started it!” He accused with rage, and Gary had to hold Simón back from lurching back at him.  

“CALM DOWN, NOW!” Gary bellowed. Simón broke free of his hold and turned to him.

“Gary, you don’t understand—”

“Oh, I understand. I understand that you attacked one of my stars in the middle of the cafeteria. Cafeteria in which, I remind you, you’re supposed to be working. Instead, you’re wreaking havoc and scaring away the customers.”

“BUT GARY, HE—”

“I don’t care what he did or didn’t do! You’re an employee here and you should’ve known better!” He roared. There was silence in the Roller. Ámbar took a second to scan the place. She saw Nico standing there, looking at his friend and his uncle with a shocked expression. She guessed he was probably serving tables when the commotion started. Ámbar couldn’t see Pedro, maybe he was in the lockers or taking care of a delivery. She did a quick search for more familiar faces but at that hour most of them were at the Blake. Good. She didn’t want anyone to think less of Simón because of this.  

Everyone in the Roller was paying attention to what was unfolding. People had stopped eating and were all focused on them. In that same second, Gary seemed to notice that he was just adding fuel to the fire. Taking a deep breath, he calmed down and fixed his scarf before speaking once more. His voice was quieter this time, but his tone was final.

“I want you to leave this place right now and don’t bother coming back— You’re fired.”

Ámbar couldn’t believe her ears. This wasn’t fair, he hadn’t done anything wrong, it was all Benicio’s doing! She saw how Simón tried to talk to Gary once more but he just pointed his finger at him, shutting him up, his severe look telling him that there’d be no negotiation. Nico tried to intercede but he just received the same look, one that promised dire consequences if he dared to go against him. Benicio, broken lip and all, had the nerve to smile.  

She saw the moment Simón gave up. The will to fight left him all at once. But it wasn’t defeat what she saw in his stance: it was cold fury. He squared his shoulders, rose his chin and looked at Gary straight in the eyes.

“If you really defend pieces of shit like him, then you don’t need to fire me. I quit.”  

He grabbed the bandana he always wore around his upper arm and ripped it off, pretty much throwing it in his face before storming out. Nico called out to him, tried to go after him but Gary stopped him, telling him something about damage control and that he needed to take care of the customers. They started arguing while in the other side of the Roller Ramiro and Emilia (who arrived god knows when) talked to Benicio. Or, in Ramiro’s case, spat at him. 

Emilia looked at Ámbar then. She had no idea what twisted version of the truth Benicio was telling them, but she had no time to deal with that right now. She had another place to be.

Finally getting out of her stupor her feet moved at full speed, going in the direction in which Simón had left. She found him just outside the front door of the Roller, holding his nape as he looked at the sky. He turned at the sound of the door closing behind her.

“Ámbar.”

She opened her mouth to say… she didn’t know what. What could she say to fix what had just happened? But she needed to say something, anything. At the very least she had to apologize. But he didn’t give her time to form words. With just two steps he was in front of her, holding her face.  

“Are you okay?” He asked, his voice full of worry as he seemed to check her all over for some kind of injury.

She did a double-take.

“That If I’m okay? Simón it wasn’t me who just got into a fight, look at your cheek!” She touched his left cheekbone and saw him flinch although he tried to hide it. A dark bruise was already forming there and she knew if they didn’t apply some ice to it, it would get ugly in no time. She could tell Benicio had taken the worse of it, but it didn’t make her feel better at all; Simón never should’ve gotten hurt in the first place. Now his cheek was swollen, and who knew how many other bruises he had over his body from Benicio’s kicks.

Simón noticed her sad stare and took her hand, guiding it away from his face.

“Ámbar, look me in the eyes.” He waited until she did to speak again, emphasizing every word. “This is nothing. I don’t care about my face, it’s you that really matters right now. Did he hurt you?”

She shook her head. “No. No, he… trapped me as not let me get away, but I’m not hurt.”

“You sure?”

“Yes, I’m okay. Absolutely livid and planning his murder, but okay. Don’t worry.”

Simón let out a relieved sigh and for a moment it looked like he was going to hug her, but he stopped himself from doing so. The movement, however, brought her attention to his hands, and her eyes widened at what she saw.

“Your knuckles are bleeding.”

He frowned and stared at the back of his hands. “Oh. I hadn’t noticed.”

A determination overcame her. She was not gonna let his injuries get worse, not on her watch. She grabbed his hand. “We need to take care of that. Come.”

She started leading him towards the door, back to the Roller, but he resisted.  

“Ámbar, you heard Gary—”

“I don’t give a single fuck about Gary. If he even dares to say something, I’ll threaten him with a suing for workplace injury.”

With that, she walked in, pulling him with her. She moved decisively towards the dressing room where they kept a first aid kit, the same place they had left just some minutes ago. But Ámbar didn’t care about the irony of the situation right now. She was on a mission, and curing Simón was the least she could do to pay him back.

Thankfully for Gary (because she was ready to yank his eyes out along with Benicio’s) they didn’t cross paths and both got settled inside the room without problem.

She made him sit in one of the chairs while she took the kit out and started assorting the different utensils she was gonna use. Then she took her own chair and sat in front of him, holding his hand as she delicately disinfected it. After a while, she broke the silence.

“Thank you for saving me.”

Simón shook his head. “You don’t need to thank me, it’s what any decent person would’ve done.” She put the cotton down for a moment and fixed her eyes on his.

“Still. Thank you,” she said, with as much honesty as she could muster.

He gave her a small smile. Ámbar returned to tending his wounds.

“Also, I’m sorry you had to go through all this,” she said. “But don’t worry, I won’t let you lose your job because of that pest. I’ll tell Gary and everyone the truth and make sure that he expels him and puts you back.”

He blinked. “The truth?”

Ámbar looked at him. Wasn’t it obvious? “What Benicio did. That you were only helping me; Gary will get it. He has to get it, or he can start saying goodbye to his best skater because I’m not sharing a rink with that asshole ever again,” she spat. If they thought she was gonna cower in fear, they had another thing coming. Maybe she had frozen there for a moment, but she was Ámbar Smith. Benicio had no idea who he had messed with.

Simón nodded silently as Ámbar started bandaging his hand. She was so focused on her task that she didn’t realize the silence that had fallen between them until she finished and he thanked her without making eye contact. He was looking down at his covered hand and then his eyes moved up, bypassing her and instead staring at something behind her. She turned around and saw the mirror where everything had unfolded.

Simón was quiet. Too quiet. He was never like that. His eyes seemed unfocused, as if he wasn’t there at all, like a hundred things were going through his head. Ámbar wondered if maybe he was still replaying the scene in his mind, if maybe he blamed himself— which would be preposterous but Simón was the type to adjudge himself responsibilities like that. Then she remembered that, in between all that had happened, there was one thing she hadn’t gotten the time to explain.

“Simón, what Benicio said… It’s all lies, you must know that. He just wanted to provoke you.”

His eyes finally moved from the mirror towards her own and there was something there, something she couldn’t pinpoint.

“I know,” he said, and it should’ve lifted the weight from her shoulders but she didn’t relax because she could tell there was more. Simón averted his gaze again, looking down. He was fumbling with his hands and took long seconds before speaking again.

“I know it is a lie. But the thing is… just for a second, just one, I thought it could be true. That you could be seeing him too and I would never even know. And even if I knew, I’d have no right to say anything about it because we’re nothing.”

His eyes moved back to hers, and what she saw in them took her by surprise. When had been the last time she'd seen this look? When had he last looked at her with so much... pain? 

“I can’t be your nothing anymore, Ámbar.”

Her heart fell to her stomach.

“Simón, what are you—”

“I love you.”

Ámbar froze. Her eyes went wide as she looked at him. What?

“I love you. I’ve loved you all this time, even before we started this whole thing. And I kept coming back to you because at least in this way I could be with you. But the truth is, I’ve never had you. You’re not really with me.” He gave her a sad smile before running his hands through his hair. “I can’t keep doing this anymore. I’m tired. I’m tired of lying to my friends, I’m tired of being so close to what I want and yet so far away. I’m tired of imagining that someday things will be different and I’ll be able to kiss you and hold you in front of everyone to see, of picturing these scenarios in my head and craving them with all my heart but they never come true, I—” He stopped for some seconds, gulping hard, like he was trying not to let his voice break.

“… I’m tired of loving you, Ámbar, and have you not love me back,” he said finally. Weakly. “And I won’t force you to do it, I’d never do that. But if you can’t be with me, really be with me… then I can’t keep doing this to myself.”  

Ámbar’s mind was trying to process everything that he was saying, but it was turning out to be difficult. She was in some kind of loop, the sound of his voice saying “I love you” playing over and over again. Sure, she knew he liked her. He was attracted to her for sure. But love?

No one had ever loved her before. Not the woman she regarded as a mom, who hadn’t hesitated before leaving her by herself. Nor her ex-boyfriend, who wasted no time in flirting with the first girl that crossed his way. Even Alfredo always preferred Luna before he even knew she was his real granddaughter. No one... until now. She almost couldn't believe it was real, that it was happening. 

But immediately after saying those words and turning her world upside down, it was like the light behind Simón's eyes vanished from existence. He was looking at her heartbroken, saying that he couldn’t be with her anymore, and Ámbar didn't understand.

He had just said he loved her, why was he leaving?

Then, through the fog in her brain, she heard him say that she didn’t love him back and she almost laughed. Not love him back? Was he serious? If anything he was the only person she had ever loved, how could he not know that?

Maybe because you made sure he didn’t. You made sure no one knew so you’d never have to be vulnerable again.

Ámbar’s heart broke. This wasn't what she wanted— This was never what she wanted. Her vision clouded with tears as she went through all her actions these past few days. She had been cold, manipulative, always taking and taking and never giving back. She thought that was the only way to remain in control and have him at the same time. That way she wouldn’t have to face what she didn’t want to face. She wouldn’t have to open up again, deal with the pain that scared her in its enormity, change. Being with him would mean change. He’d change her as he had done before and she didn’t want that, because she had ended up broken and alone. She told herself she couldn’t risk it, that she wouldn’t, not again. But ironically, she still craved his touch and his company. She didn’t want to feel, but she couldn’t stop her feelings for him. It was the one thing she couldn’t control. So she started this stupid game, sure that this way she could get everything she wanted. …But she had been wrong.

She just hurt him, once again, God knows how deeply. And she hurt herself in the process too.

He stayed by her all this time, never asking for anything at all, only because he loved her and wanted to be with her.

And she always repaid him with distance and goodbyes…

She didn’t deserve him. Deep down she had always known.

Not only that— She was poisonous. 

Tears welled in her eyes as she looked at him. She remained quiet.

Simón must’ve taken her silence as her answer because he nodded to himself and stared at the ground, dejected. His eyes were red with unshed tears. Without any more words, he stood and moved towards the door, stopping right before opening it. He spoke with his back to her.

“Don’t worry, I won’t say anything about what happened between us. You can keep your reputation.”

With that, he left and closed the door behind him.

Ámbar stayed there looking at the empty space where he used to be, the knot in her throat so overwhelming it hurt to swallow. Even after everything, his last thought was of protecting her and respecting what she wanted. What he thought she wanted. In truth, all she felt like doing right now was run after him and beg him to stay. Scream at the top of her lungs that she loved him too and that she was sorry for being so stupid as to deny it before. Kiss him in front of everyone, consequences be damned. She didn’t care what anyone thought anymore, she’d endure everyone’s hate if it meant being with him just a little longer.

But she couldn't do that.

A tear finally escaped and ran down her cheek. It wouldn't be fair, she couldn’t do that. She couldn’t play with him and then just change the rules when it suited her. How long had she been hurting him? How much of it had been deliberate to keep him away? How could she just smile now and accept his love and be happy? He shouldn't even love her in the first place. He was better off without her, all of this was a clear sign of that. If she hadn't hurt him enough already, all the darkness and pain that surrounded her life would inevitably reach him at some point, and if he ever lost his light because of her… she would never forgive herself.

More tears fell from her eyes, and more, and more because she always destroyed everything she touched.

A sob was interrupted as the door slammed open without warning. Ámbar wiped her tears as fast as she could, and when she looked to her left, she saw it was Emilia.

“Here you are.”

She sat in the chair where Simón had been and stared at Ámbar.

“Benicio said that he didn’t do anything, but I can already tell from your face that that is not the case. Simón may be a Jam&Loser but even I know that he wouldn’t just punch him without any provocation. So, spill. What happened really?”

Ámbar took a deep breath and told her everything. As she spoke, Emilia’s face looked more and more outraged until Ámbar finished and Emilia jumped out of her chair, sending it flying behind her.

“I knew it! I knew he was lying, that son of a—UGH, I can’t believe he was ever on my list, he’s the worst!”

Emilia was pacing as she groaned curse words, so many that Ámbar lost count. Then she stopped and looked at her. In a single move, she pulled up the chair from the floor and sat once again, holding her hands.

“Look at how he left you. I swear I’m gonna punch him when I see him. No, I’m gonna kick him in the balls and leave him crying and wailing like a little boy, yeah, that’s what I’m gonna do.” 

Ámbar shook her head. “He deserves everything you just said and more but it’s not because of him that I’m like this. I’d never give that rat that satisfaction, he no longer exists to me.”

Emilia furrowed her eyebrows. “I don’t get it. If it’s not because of him then—” Her mouth closed, having answered her own question. “Simón.”

She averted her gaze. It was all the confirmation Emilia needed.

“What did he do? I mean, besides beating the crap out of Benicio.”

“He…” She started, but then closed her mouth. “Nothing. Let’s just go.”

She stood up and walked to the door, but right when she grazed the handle Emilia spoke again.

“If it’s about your secret meetings, I already know.”

Ámbar turned to her.

“What?”

“Oh please, Ámbar. Give me some credit. All these losers may be too blind or self-absorbed to notice anything, but I’m observant. I saw the looks, saw you disappear every now and then... it was only a matter of adding two plus two.”

Ámbar just looked at her in silence.

“Now. Why don’t you tell me what happened?” She offered.

Ámbar didn’t know if it was a good idea. She considered Emilia her friend but only to a certain degree, and she had been very clear very often about what she thought of Simón.

But even with all her doubts, she found herself moving back to the chair in front of her, baring her heart to a girl she had only known for a couple of months. The truth was, she had no one else to talk to, and it was a relief to be able to take some of her pain out for once.

She guessed it didn’t matter anyway whether Emilia knew or not. Her thing with Simón was over. He was better off.

She just wished that at some point it would stop hurting.

 


 

Simón woke up with a swollen cheek, a couple of bruises over his body and a bandaged hand.

None of it hurt as much as his heart though.

He had been wanting to talk to Ámbar for weeks, to clear things up, get out of the limbo they’d been immersed in for so long. But he had always hoped that that conversation would go differently. He had hoped that she would feel the same, or, at least, would want to try to have something with him, give him a chance to show her that they could work.

But she stared at him without saying a word. He told her he loved her and she didn’t even bat an eye.

No, that’s not true. There was sorrow in her eyes, which was even worse because he didn’t want her to feel sorry for him. 

Needless to say Simón wasn’t feeling so great. Thankfully Nico and Pedro attributed his gloomy mood to his fight with Benicio and Gary firing him and didn’t ask him any questions. He had already explained the situation the day before (leaving certain details aside, obviously) and even though neither of them defended violence they supported him, saying they probably would’ve done the same thing. In Nico’s words: “I would punch Benicio for less.”

What sucked though was that now he needed to find a new job. He was contemplating options in his mind while eating breakfast with the guys when suddenly his phone started ringing. To his utter surprise, it was Gary. He showed his friends the caller ID and they fell silent at once, their eyes showing the same perplexity that he was feeling.

Anyway, his call wasn’t welcome.

“What do you want now?” Simón spat, cutting right to the chase ‘cause he was in no mood to deal with him.

“Good morning to you too, Simón,” Gary answered in a mocking tone.

“Gary, if you called to reprimand me again, I’m telling you right now that I’m not –”

“Ámbar talked to me.”

Simón’s mouth fell close at hearing that. Gary kept talking, knowing now he had his attention.

“Yesterday, in fact. She was quite assertive. I understand now that I misinterpreted the situation, and I want you to know that I took Benicio out of The Red Sharks. He’s no longer welcome in the Jam & Roller. Contrary to what you may think, I don’t defend people like him.”

He took a moment to absorb this before speaking again. “I’m glad to hear it.”

“Also, considering the circumstances, I’ve decided that you’re free to return to your job if you still want it.”

That wasn’t even near to an apology but well, it’s what he expected. He lowered the phone and looked at the guys, who stared back at him, urging him to take his offer. To be honest, he hated working for Gary, they all did. But he loved the Roller and the friends he’d made there.

He put his phone back to his ear.

“Okay, I’ll come back.”

“Good,” Gary declared in a business tone like a transaction had just been made. “Tell the others to hurry up then, we open in 30 minutes.”

Just with that, he hung up. He was such an ass that man… but he guessed he wasn’t as bad as he originally thought.

 


 

Two hours later he was cleaning tables when Emilia approached him.

She just stood in front of him, crossed her arms and stared him with a disapproving look.

“You’re an idiot, you know that?”

Simón dropped his cloth on top of the table and crossed his arms as well. “Excuse me?”

“No, I don’t excuse you. What kind of asshole leaves a woman crying after saying he loved her?”

His eyes widened and he quickly looked around. They were in the middle of the cafeteria, in plain view and surrounded by strangers and friends, did this girl have no filter whatsoever?

Before any of them could center their attention on them, he grabbed Emilia by the arm and pulled her aside into a more secluded corner.

“Look. One: She wasn’t crying. Two: Whatever happened between Ámbar and me, it’s between us. I would appreciate it if you don’t stick your nose in it, and even less divulge it, for Ámbar’s sake.” 

“Nah uh, righteous boy. This has something to do with me whether you like it or not. And if I’m here, is precisely for Ámbar’s sake.”

He breathed a frustrated sigh. “Emilia, the thing between Ámbar and me is over, okay? I don’t know what she told you, but it’s not like I broke her heart. Again, not like it’s any of your business, but she didn’t want me, not the other way around.”

Emilia stared at him for long seconds before letting out a scoff in disbelief. “I knew you were an idiot but you’re even stupider than I thought.”

What?

“Look. To be honest, I don’t know why I’m talking to you. I don’t even want you two together, I think she can do so much better than a loser like you. But maybe you should start wondering if that’s really not what she wants.”

“She told me herself—”

“Did she?”

That shut him up.

They stood there for a while, taking part in a stare fight until Emilia rolled her eyes and took a step back.  

“Goodbye, Simón.”

Without further ado, she walked away, like a storm that wreaks havoc and then leaves without a care in the world.

Simón tried to do the same for the rest of the day. Not care, not think about what she had said. It was relatively easy considering they had the Open that day and a lot of arrangements had to be made. He spent most of the day running from one side to the other, adding finishing touches, so he managed to push her into the back of his mind.

But then the Open started and Ámbar wasn’t there.

And he realized that, actually, he hadn’t seen her that day at all.

It gave him pause, but he guessed it was probably because of the Benicio incident. He wasn’t stupid, he knew most people were gossiping about it even if they tried not to show it in front of him. It was out of respect, but he knew they wouldn’t have the same consideration towards her so he guessed it was a good call for her not to come.

Begrudgingly though, Emilia’s words came back to his mind, taunting him, making him question everything. What if it wasn’t because of the gossip? What if it wasn’t because of Benicio that she wasn’t there but because of…

No, it couldn’t be. He closed the possibility before it could even finish forming. Emilia couldn’t be trusted anyway, for all he knew she just wanted to play mind games with him, play tricks on him like she had done before.

He was not gonna let her affect him. He had made a resolution, he had chosen what was best for him and he was right to do so.

He was going to focus on the Open and the future.

He was not going to look back.

 


 

Ámbar had remained in her room the whole length of the day.

She just woke up and knew she wasn’t in the mood for an Open Music, or for skating, or for tolerating the curious stares of everyone.

Most of all, she wasn’t in the mood to see him.

So she stayed in her robe and gave herself a day. A day to put herself back up before having to face him again, a day to rebuild the walls he had shattered his way through.

What have you done to me?

I was walking the wall

Now I’m on free fall…  

She couldn’t help to remember those lyrics. She had never felt that song as strongly as she felt it now.

The hours passed and besides a trip to get a sandwich and a trip to the bathroom all she did was turn over in her bed, trying to recoil back into her anger and her 'I don’t care' attitude but the fury just wouldn’t flare.

You needed oxygen to light a fire, and all she felt was void.

Thinking about how everyone was probably having a great time singing and dancing at the Open Music only made it worse. She knew Simón would be there, Gary had promised he’d give him his job back. He had to, otherwise she would’ve left The Red Sharks and that wouldn’t be beneficial for him.

She wondered what song he would sing with the Roller Band. She figured it wouldn’t be “Tiempo de amor”. Like, how ironic would that be?

Maybe he wouldn’t even be with the Roller Band, maybe he’d sing solo or with Luna. She just wished he sang and had a good time; she’d feel even worse if she found out he didn’t participate because he was too depressed after what happened with her.

Ugh, why was she even thinking about this?

She decided it was better not to think at all. She laid on her side with her head on top of her hands and closed her eyes, hoping that in dreams she could run away.

The universe though seemed to have other plans, because not ten seconds after she closed her eyes, she heard a knock on her door.

That was just her luck.

“Go away,” she said, not even caring who it was. She didn’t want to see anyone, that was what the lock was for.

But whoever was didn’t leave. The knock came back, and this time there was a pattern, a distinctive rhythm that she had learned to recognize.

Her eyes flew open and she sat up on her bed. It couldn’t be.

She looked at the time, the Open should still be ongoing. It really couldn’t be, but…

Like in a trance she stood up and walked to her door, unlocking it before opening it slightly to check who was on the other side. Her eyes widened when her suspicion turned out to be true. She opened the door the rest of the way and there, with his hands leaning on either side of the frame, stood Simón.

“Why did you kiss me?”

Ámbar’s brain couldn’t figure out what he meant or what was happening at all. She opened her mouth but no sound came out of it. He didn’t look deterred though, he kept talking.

“Every night before I had to leave, you always kissed me goodbye.”

Ámbar’s heart was speeding up and she gulped, still too shocked to articulate a word.

Simón took a step closer looking deeply into her eyes. He was right under the frame of her door and his eyes were dancing in between hers, desperately begging them for the truth.

“Why did you do it? Why did you kiss me every time?”

Ámbar’s eyes filled with tears. All her feelings hit her at once like a tidal wave and she couldn’t keep them in check, she couldn’t control them. She had promised herself the day before, right after he had walked out that she would never lie to him again. Never.

So, she didn’t.

When she finally spoke, it was in a fragile voice that sounded almost broken.  

“Because I didn’t want you to go.”

Simón looked into her eyes in silence. It looked as if a million things were going through his mind at the same time, his eyes flashing with different emotions.

Then it all stopped and there was only certainty.

With a single step, he was on the other side of the door, his hand pushing it close behind him without bothering to look back. In the next breath, his hands were cupping her face and he was kissing her with such force that it knocked the air out of her lungs.

It took her two seconds to get over her shock and then she was kissing him back, fiercely, her arms wrapping around his neck and pulling him closer. This was all she ever wanted: Him. Only him. Nothing else mattered.

"I'm sorry," she said between kisses. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry..." 

"Ssh..." He whispered gently, willing the lump that could be heard in her throat away. "It's okay, we're here now." 

They kept kissing as proof of it, desperately as if either would disappear any second. Simón walked her backwards, his jacket falling to the floor at their feet. When they reached the edge of her bed, he placed his knee on top of it and lowered her down carefully, tugging his shoes and socks off as he followed her. He only broke the kiss long enough to take his shirt off over his head and then he was back on top of her, claiming her lips once more.

Ámbar ran her fingers all over him, digging her nails in his skin as their tongues fought together, tangling. His hands were everywhere, her face, her legs, all the way under her nightgown up to her chest. She broke the kiss to take it off, leaving her only in a pair of purple underwear. He immediately started leaving kisses all over her body, from her neck to her navel, pecking every single freckle on her chest as he worked on his pants, kicking them off seconds later. When he reached her birthmark, he kissed it sweetly just like he had done the other night and she shuddered under his lips at the memory of it. He felt her shudder and pulled on the covers, making it so both were under them even though they both knew she wasn’t trembling from the cold. It was a way of creating their own little world, a nest for them to lay in because they knew they didn’t need to rush anymore.

There, under the covers, they looked into each other’s eyes. There were so many things his eyes were saying, and she was looking at him openly, no longer hiding behind any walls. She didn’t need them, not as long as he was with her. He leaned his forehead against hers, their eyes closing as they breathed each other in. Their noses grazed this way and that, slowly. Just as slowly, his hands moved down her hips, pulling her underwear along with them. Then he moved to take off his own and she already missed him, even if it was just a second and then he was back atop her, their chest molding together so they were almost heart to heart.

Simón cupped her cheek and caressed it with his thumb as he looked at her, taking in every detail of her face before fixating on her lips.

He started leaning in, but she stopped him gently with her hands on his chest.

“I didn’t say anything back."

He shook his head slightly and moved a lock of her hair. “You don’t have to."

“I want to. I need to." She grabbed his face and looked into his eyes. "I love you, Simón Álvarez. More than you’ll ever know.”

He stared into her eyes with a collision of emotions on his own. But didn’t say a word; he showed her.

It was in the way he leaned in to kiss her slowly, in the way his hands caressed her skin, in the way he brought her to a pleasure and a feeling of completeness she didn’t know was possible until she met him.

He made love to her, passionately, gently, a great combination of both. That was him: he was fire and water at the same time, able to blaze her world alight and clean all her scars, heal her and consume her.

They both fell over the edge together in a concert of shiny lights, holding each other tight through the fall and never letting go even when the world stopped spinning and their hearts went calm.

Simón rolled to his side bringing her along with him, kissing the top of her hair as his hand behind her back played with the tips of her hair. There was no urgency, no awkward silences cause this time he could stay.  

For the first time, he got to hold her as they laid together. For the first time, she got to nuzzle her head in his chest and lay her hand over his heart, feel it beat under her palm as proof that he was there and he loved her.

Their legs entwined, their eyes closed. Their embrace was soft and warm and it was the best feeling ever, the best night until now.

The first of many more to follow.

 

 

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