Shoma's thinking about it again.
He presses his nose to the back of Yuzu's neck and inhales. Yuzu smells like fresh cut green onions. He makes a little noise and wriggles, skin rubbing against Shoma's skin.
They spent most of the night having sex, gasping and moaning. Celebrating. They are a couple, after a year of burning for one another, of furtive texts and video chats. Javi has said "Yes". Yes to his relationship with Yuzu becoming open, yes to the idea that Shoma and Yuzu can date.
And now with the morning lighting on them, it's too warm in Shoma's futon to move, too nice next to Yuzu's graceful body. Shoma reaches around and places his hand on Yuzu's firm, hot belly.
"Mmm," Yuzu hums.
But Shoma's heart is rabbiting. He kisses Yuzu's shoulders and tells himself to stop being such a coward.
Yet the words lodge themselves in his throat like barbs. So he keeps kissing Yuzu's shoulders, kisses the back of his neck. Yuzu grumbles and turns around and they kiss slowly. Yuzu nibbles Shoma's lower lip and begins touching him, stroking him.
Shoma scuttles away.
"Did I do something wrong?" Yuzu asks.
"No. I just --" Shoma feels his chest tighten.
These are serious words, weighty as stone, but they have been in his heart since December. He doesn't know why he has to say them, since he prefers to show Yuzu how he feels about him, with lovemaking, small gifts, flying to Toronto.
"What? What is it?" Yuzu says.
He begins to tickle Shoma, which doesn't help.
"I can tickle torture you or --" Yuzu licks Shoma's cock. "Suck you off. Until you confess."
The overload of sensations makes Shoma laugh and suddenly those words are bubbling from his lips.
"I love you," he says.
Yuzu's eyes widen.
"I didn't want you to think I said those words because of sex. That's why I pushed you away."
Yuzu is quiet and Shoma is afraid.
Yuzu cups Shoma's cheek in his palm.
"I love you too," he says and Shoma feels lightheaded as they kiss.