Thunder crashed loudly outside as Thomas scooted himself into Francisco, burrowing his body into his older brother’s chest and stomach. Rain pounded against the window and wind whipped trees around, but still his Tom Tom slept, using Francisco’s body as a security blanket. Francisco tightened his grip on Thomas, instinctively wanting to protect him from the storm raging outside. He wanted Thomas to know he was safe here in his arms. He kissed his little brother’s hair, taking a few extra seconds to breathe in the mop of blonde curls. Francisco closed his eyes and savored the scent of chlorine and shampoo. The smell intoxicated him and he couldn’t resist burying his face in the soft hair and breathing in again, nuzzling against his hair and neck. His chest was heavy as it swelled with both longing and serenity. It smelled like home.
Today was his 18th birthday and there had been a wonderful celebration with his friends and family. He would soon be starting university, but he dared not attend a school far away from home; away from Thomas. He didn’t think he could handle the separation. As he lay in bed, curled up with his brother, he contemplated how he had arrived here. He was in love with Thomas. He had been since he was 6 years old and the brand new little baby opened his eyes and looked right into his own. As children, he was in love with the way Thomas laughed and he would do anything he could to elicit giggles, even resorting to frequent tickle sessions. He loved the way Thomas was curious about everything around him. He was in love with Thomas’ sweet, kind, shy and affectionate nature. As they grew, so did his love. It also began to change shape. Over the past several years, Francisco began to look at his brother not with the sweet goodness of a child but with the desire of a young man.
Francisco knew he could not pursue his romantic feelings toward Thomas. He didn’t care that they were brothers. When he was born, Francisco had felt like Thomas was a gift, just for him. Sure he was mom and Alexandre’s son, but Thomas was his. But he was only 13 years old. He loved his baby brother too much to take his innocence. He still had a few more years of childhood left and Francisco wanted him to enjoy every minute. Now was not the time for adult matters. He would always protect him, even if it meant denying himself physical pleasure. He didn’t mind waiting for Thomas because they belonged together. He knew that someday, they would share their lives together like lovers.
He kissed Thomas again and tightened his grip on his waist as the thunder boomed outside and he drifted off.
3 Years Later
“No tickling!” Thomas shouted between labored breaths and giggles. Francisco ran fingertips over his waist, arm pits and neck, lightly digging in and wiggling to provoke the frantic sounds. Francisco ceased the tickling to let Thomas catch his breath. Reluctantly, he pulled himself from his brother’s body so they could sit on the couch in their living room. Mom and Alexander were out on some kind of date night thing. He relished the alone time with his brother.
“What do you wanna watch?” Thomas asked as he snuggled into Francisco’s side, laying his head on a strong shoulder. Francisco put his arm around the younger boy as they flipped through the TV channels. He was trying to concentrate but all he could think about was how good his brother’s body felt against his. Thomas was beginning to fill out thanks to competitive swimming. His chest had broadened, his stomach now rippled, his legs were strong as they stroll across the room and his arms were like iron when he wrapped them around Francisco.
He could feel the heat radiating of Thomas’ body as his brother gently rubbed circles on his thigh during the movie. Francisco let himself enjoy the touch, and in return caressed the nape of Thomas’ neck and hair. He was so relaxed, so comfortable and so at peace that he didn’t notice his brothers’ tentative glances up at Francisco’s face. Thomas’ voice broke the silence.
“Francisco” he whispered. “Yeah Tom Tom?” Francisco replied as he looked down, seeing his brother staring up at him, they locked eyes. Francisco could recognize the longing on Thomas’ face because he’d seen it many times reflected back at him in the mirror on his own face. He offered his little brother a small, reassuring smile as if to say “I know. It’s okay. I want you to.” but he didn’t have to say anything. They knew each other’s thoughts.
The two boys had displayed intimate behavior with each other their entire lives. Hugs, kisses, touches, shared smiles and verbal affection came as naturally as breathing. They never thought twice about it, nor ever noticed the concerned or confused expressions of other people around them. Despite their familiarity and security with each other, the brothers felt something different was happening between them and they were anxious and excited.
Francisco wasn’t sure how long Thomas had been feeling this pull, but he had been waiting for this moment for years and now that it was finally here, words couldn’t describe how he felt. He always thought when Thomas would be ready, it would be like something out of a film; a big event or a romantic gesture, but instead they were just watching a movie at home like any other night. He couldn’t ask for anything better.
He slowly leaned down and gently put his lips against his Thomas’s lips. The feeling was electric and his heart felt like a jackhammer in his chest. He pulled away to gauge Tom Tom’s reaction and he saw his beautiful brother’s shy smile and wide blue eyes looking up at him. Thomas was giving him that look. The one that said “I trust you, I love you, I’m yours”, and it made Francisco’s stomach flip.
“I love you” Thomas whispered, the smile leaving his face becoming serious and his tone intense. His fingers were wrapped around Francisco’s wrists, rubbing little circles on them, caressing the smooth skin as Francisco’s own fingers were exploring his Tom Tom’s neck, cheeks, hair, ears, lips and anything else he could reach, all the while, their eyes remained locked, baring their souls to each other; neither flinching away.
Thomas had said those words to Francisco a million times before, but only recently had they come to have a deeper meaning. No longer was it a declaration of a familial feeling from a child to his brother, but now it was a promise of a future for two lovers and a request for the same in return. In these words, in this moment, with that look on his face, Thomas claimed Francisco as his. This had always been, but now it was official.
“You are my only.” Francisco finally replied, as he kissed his brother’s forehead, then his cheeks, then his nose and finally his mouth. He could feel his brother’s body melt under his touches and kisses. He became aroused at Thomas’ scent, his touch and his heavy breath. Francisco’s only thought as he lay his brother down on the couch was “Thomas. Finally.”
Then, with everything they had in their bodies, minds, hearts and souls, they lost themselves in each other, giving themselves over completely to the other.
2 Hours Later
They had made love on the couch in the living room before moving to Francisco’s bed to cuddle in a more comfortable and sizeable space. The cuddle didn’t last long before touching and exploring each other’s naked bodies became too much for them and passion took over as they made love two more times. They took turns losing themselves in each other, quenching the ache in their stomachs and pelvis.
Thomas had finally grown too tired to stay awake and he lay sleeping in Francisco’s arms as he had so many times as a child. Francisco eyed the marks on Tom Tom’s body. Small bruises from desperate, crushing grips, small purple scars left by Francisco’s teeth and mouth and light scratches resulting from pleasure so intense Francisco could not control how hard his fingernails dug into his brother’s delicate flesh. His own body contained identical marks.
While Thomas was soundly sleeping, Francisco listened to the night sounds outside and his thoughts drifted to the future. He wanted to be with Thomas as a couple but it didn’t seem possible, not right now anyway. He was sure nobody would allow or accept the relationship. At 16, Thomas was still so young. And he was a 22 year old man who had never been involved in any relationships; the people in his life were always fussing over him, asking questions he didn’t want to answer. “Why don’t you find a nice girl to date?”, “Don’t you have a girlfriend yet?” or “You need to get out and meet someone” they would say. He usually got out of these conversations by telling people he was so busy with med school he didn’t have time for relationships.
Not surprisingly, Thomas had lost his virginity to Francisco tonight but nobody would guess that he also lost his virginity tonight. He had never wanted to share himself with anyone other than Thomas, although he had his fair share of offers. Mostly, he worried what their mother and Alexandre would think. He didn’t care that Thomas was his brother, but he knew his parents would not be happy. He realized a long time ago his mother knew what was between him and Thomas. She, like many other people in their lives, knew Thomas and Francisco were completely dependent on one another. She never said anything about their intimacy, but as they grew she asked him repeatedly if he had any questions about feelings he might be confused about, or looked on at the two of them in worry. He knew that she knew and bless her, she never wanted to make him feel ashamed.
But now it was real. He and Thomas had crossed a line and if they were to be together the way he dreamed they would be, he would have to break his mother and Alexandre’s hearts. Just thinking about giving up Thomas when he just got him was breaking his heart. He squeezed his brother tighter, never getting close enough. He had lived without his brother for the first six years of his life but he had no memory of that. He couldn’t imagine it. No matter what happened, they would always be together. They crossed the line. He decided there was no going back.
Francisco reached his hand down, sliding it down Thomas’ stomach and into golden wiry hair. He stroked Thomas, bringing him to life. He nuzzled golden soft hair as his hand glided back and forth. Thomas awoke at the pleasure and began to whimper, softly crying out for Francisco. He turned over and kissed his big brother as Francisco continued to rub and pull and caress. Finally, Thomas came with a shudder and Francisco’s name on his lips. Warm liquid spread over their thighs but they didn’t care. They just held each other tight, running hands and lips over skin.
Francisco broke apart to catch his breath and look at his Tom Tom. His lips were swollen, his cheeks flushed and his mop of blonde curls was a big tangle. It was the most beautiful thing Francisco had ever seen.
What’s going to happen Thomas? Francisco asked as he lifted his brother’s hand and placed a kiss on it. “Will we continue what we’ve started in secret?” He asked bluntly. “Will we tell everyone we are lovers now?” Or, he asked quietly and hesitantly, “Will this be our first, and only time together like this?”
Thomas stayed silent as he thought. He felt Thomas searching his eyes for something, but he didn’t know what.
Suddenly, Thomas answered in an offended tone “How can you even think I would let that happen?” Francisco was confused. “You’re mine and I’m yours and we will be together, whatever it takes.” His brother declared. Francisco was relieved and smiled widely. “I’ve waited for you for so long Tom Tom”. “Now that I have you, I’m never giving you up”. Thomas looked deeply into Francisco’s eyes, his own eyes, never blinking, and replied “you’ve always had me. I’ve always been here.”
They decided to keep their romance a secret until the right time, whenever that may be. They lay in bed, covered in sticky mess, with drying saliva on their skin and damp hair wetting the pillows for another hour. Francisco and Thomas talked about their love and when each one had realized his love was more than that of a brother. For Francisco it was when he was 15 and a girl asked him to their school dance and he said no because he’d wanted take Tom Tom. But when their mother told him that wasn’t appropriate, he skipped the dance to be with Thomas. And for Thomas, it was when he was 12 and he had fallen off his bike, scraping his knees and elbows. Francisco patched him up, laying kisses on the scratches to make them better. He felt so safe and loved. Something different in his heart awoke that day and he wished Francisco had kissed him on the lips in that moment. And it seemed like every moment after that, he dreamed of Francisco’s lips on his.
As the hour passed, they kissed and played and talked until they heard Mom and Alexandre’s car pull into the driveway. They reluctantly parted ways when Thomas went to his own bedroom to avoid being caught naked in bed together. Both lay there, feeling cold and empty as their parents tried to quietly creep through the house. Francisco’s door opened as his Mom peeked inside to check on him. The look on her face changed to something resembling sadness as he told her everything went fine and Thomas had gotten all his homework done. Had she noticed something? He worried for a bit before finally falling asleep.
The next morning was business as usual; breakfast and chatting as they prepared for the day. The two boys played footsies under the table until breakfast was over. Everything was completely normal.
6 Years Later
Their mother had been sick for a while. And though they knew it was only a matter of time, their hearts still broke when Julieta died. They stood in the kitchen of the house where their family had lived forever, and they clung to each other, tears leaked into shirts as they grieved together.
Thomas and Francisco had been having a secret affair for the past six years. At least, they thought it was secret. But Julieta knew her boys and she knew they were in love. They were careful to never be caught, but she saw it in their eyes when they looked at each other. They thought she was blind to their smoldering stares, flirtatious glances, their “innocent” touches, and their shared shy smiles. They never knew she knew, but any anyone could see the sparks between them explode as they grew into beautiful young men. She worried for them but never said a word. As she had said to Pedro years before, she could not tell them loving each other was wrong. Alexandre followed her lead.
Now, here in this most sacred and sorrowful of moments, the two men comforted each other as only two people who had been together for 22 years could. Thomas’ head rested on Francisco’s shoulder as he sobbed, his arms wrapped around his older brother’s torso. Francisco ran his fingers through Thomas’ curls at the nape of his neck, and with his other hand, rubbed circles on Tom Tom’s back. Francisco swayed his body side to side is a small rocking motion. The older man laid soft, chaste kisses on his brother’s forehead. They stood like that until they were both so exhausted that they curled up together on Francisco’s bed, not caring who saw.
In the days leading up to their mother’s funeral, the brothers felt a shift in the dynamics of their childhood home. Julieta was gone, Rosa had found other employment when they were old enough to look after themselves and Alexandre spent less and less time in the house he had shared with his wife, leaving Francisco, Thomas and Basta to themselves.
The two men began to feel a liberation they had not felt before. The need to hide their relationship was slipping away. And as they undressed in front of each other in the living room, the feeling was intense and electric. This was their time. This was their unspoken declaration of love to the universe with no fear, regrets or shame.