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Moonlight spilled in through the open window bathing the room in cool muted tones. Julianna hugged herself tighter as she watched the hypnotic rise and fall of Vals chest in the bed beside her.

Juliana was exhausted. Pressing the heels of her hands to her eyes and breathing a heavy sigh her mind started the long looping thoughts she had been revisiting over and over since that almost first kiss...

The mix of joy, relief and surprise on Valentina's face when she arrived at her Quince. The unrestrained welcome hug that made Juliana feel whole. The indescribable feeling of meeting Valentina's eyes across the room. The overwhelming beauty of Mexico City at night from the back of a fast car with girl she lov... knew better than herself. The girl who's smile made Juls feel alive. When they started leaning toward each other time had slowed down... she couldn't feel the chill in the air or hear the wind whipping past her ears... her universe focused on Val and the mad hope her feelings were returned.

A swerving cat, a blaring horn....


Her eyes shot open and she inwardly groaned. She didn't think you could die from heart failure at fifteen but from that moment on she hadn't been able to relax.

Juliana could not sleep. She clenched her jaw and started to lift the covers when she felt Val stir.

Estas bien? Val asked in a sleep laced whisper.

Si bonita, i can't sleep. I'm going to get up.

Val halted her movements by gently sliding her arm around her waist and pulling her close.

Stay with me. Por favor.

Juls slowly lay back and Val pulled her closer hooking her leg over her hips and resting her head on Juls shoulder.

Juliana's heart raced for a moment but as she felt Val's deepening breaths she slowly started giving in to the grounding calm of the embrace. Giving up on her clearly undesired attempt to keep space between them she hugged her back.

Juls pressed her lips to the crown if Valentina's head. She loved that she smelled like lavender, a vibrant reminder of the flowers that let their friendship blossom.

Valentina shifted tilting her chin up, her eyes a pale silver in the stillness of the moment. She seemed to look right through to Juliana's soul and as they close the distance between them....


Their hotel room door flew open and Leon marched in singing with a tiny birthday cake adorned with sparkling candles.

Val and Juls ripped apart from each other just in time for Leon to enter the bed room. My angel! I know you just had your quinces but you have to forgive your old Papa, I could not break our tradition!

Val smiled at him and gave Juls an apologetic glance. Juls was now absolutely convinced she would die from heart failure at 15....