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Rumors of Rain

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Yara lets the boy into her room and flips the lock behind them.

She has barely turned around again before he has her in his arms. She tilts her face up to his, and he kisses her like they are long-lost lovers met again after some terrible absence.

"Yara, Yara," he whispers against her cheek and into her hair, dropping a thousand kisses as he goes. He is transported in this wave of love, and she is more than willing to be swept along.

Yara drops her purse on the table, forgotten the moment it leaves her hand. "Matheus, meu querido," she croons back, her Portuguese still clumsy where Spanish would be smooth. But she says it for him, and lets him lead her to the bed.

"I missed you so much," he whispers into her ear, pulling her close to him. The pale gold light from the bedside lamp gleams warmly across his face.

Yara laughs and tilts her head, knowing the light is behind her, that it is shining a halo through her dark hair. She doesn't at all mind playing his secret love. "But I'm here, Matheus. Right here."

He stares up at her, rapt, an intense longing still lingering in his eyes. She can't stand it. She strokes his face with her fingertips, softly, gently, until he closes his eyes. She can feel the strain in his body even as she nestles against him. "You are so beautiful," she tells him.

He has the beauty of youth, she wants to say, the beauty of a face that isn't quite fully itself yet. But she isn't sure that is the kind of thing his lover would tell him.

"I?" His eyes flash open, bright and full, and she lets the words slip away. "No. Compared to you? I am nothing. You are the night's sky filled with stars, the burning heart of the sun. A beauty that stops men's hearts --"

He says it with such utter conviction, such complete and heart-felt devotion -- and just the faintest hint of a smile lurking at the corner of his mouth. She darts in to kiss him there. "You are impossible! More song lyrics, I suppose?"

Matheus leans in and kisses her back, very sweetly. "You inspire me."

Yara rolls her eyes at the cliche -- sometimes, he goes much, much too far -- then pushes him back with a little shove so he has room to fully appreciate the cold arch of her brow. "Ah, so now I'm your Muse?" she asks, her tone haughty.

"You are mine, and I am yours," he vows, going so far as to place his hand over his heart. "Every song I sing is for you, every moment of grace is only an echo of yours --"

"Every --" At that, Yara loses her glare and breaks down laughing. She pushes him back on the bed and throws herself across him, holding him down when he struggles with the weight of her laughter. Eventually, he joins in, his laughs starting small and growing into something louder and rougher than hers. His chest moves hard enough to rock her against him.

They laugh until one of the neighbors pounds on the wall, and then they have to laugh harder at the interruption. Yara calms down first, slipping down to lie beside him and just listen to him. As the sound eases, she feels a rush of fondness. Matheus is a good boy; he deserves some happiness. When he wraps his arm around her, she presses close.

"You," she tells him finally, decisively, when he's gotten his breath back. "Are merciless."

"Thank you," he says, the laughter still clear in his voice, and drops a kiss on the top of her head. He reaches a hand to tip her chin up -- and she catches it firmly.

"Not yet," she says. She catches his gaze even as she's sliding out of his arms and off the bed. "I have a surprise for you."

"A surprise?" he asks, clearly willing to play along. He sits up on the bed, a delighted smile taking his face as he lounges there against the comforter. "Will I like it?"

Yara takes her purse from the table, flipping it open as she clucks her tongue at him. "I should hope so." Inside is the little mp3 player she always carries – and the tiny speaker she brought just for this. She plugs it in and sets them both carefully on the night stand.

She sets it to play, then turns to catch his eye and smile coyly. She wants to see his face when the music starts. It only takes a moment --

His eyes widen at the sound of his own guitar. And then he has to swallow before he can speak. "You." He shakes his head. "Eu te amo."

When he smiles at her, she can see how much it means to him, that she would find his music. That she would think to play it for him. But she's not finished yet.

"Hush," she says, standing up and taking a step back from the bed. She knows this room well, knows the way the light shines. It hides the shabbiness of the wallpaper, the water stain on the ceiling.

And if she stands right here, the light will catch her so beautifully when she poses for him. She takes a deep breath in time with the music, and when the drumbeats come in, she starts to sway. It's a little salsa, a little tango -- mestiço, he calls it -- rhythms she's carried in her bones since she was a little girl. It's not at all hard to dance.

He keeps his eyes on her face while she takes off her clothes, and it surprises her. He's watching so intensely --

And she realizes that he's watching her lips move. She hadn't even realized she was singing along, but now that she can see the look on his face, she knows it's perfect. All of that hunger, all of that need is focused on her right now, and she can make it better. And she does.

Later, afterwards, he leaves an extra fifty on the nightstand when he kisses her goodbye.