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Ace, a wretched young man in his best years, stood alone on the beach, gazing over the royal blue water with his hollow forest-green crystals. His coffee hair rustled lightly in the ocean breeze. He tried to deny the stirrings in his heart as he hummed “Crawling” to himself. He wore a moss-colored shirt that left his sorrel arms bare and blonde shorts that looked comfortable and easy to wear. His brunet mane brushed against his earlobes, complementing his melancholy hazel visage.
His thoughts wandered to his days in Jordan’s company. It all started when he found himself in mortal danger. He had resigned himself to her fate, but Jordan was his unexpected savior. From then on, Ace was sometimes needy and close, but then suddenly cold and fearful. Jordan tried his best to hide his pain, but it was plain in his spheres. That was how it was to this very day.
Ace’s jade pools spotted Jordan further down on the beach, closer to the roaring sea. His lovely starless strands were attractive as ever. His orbs were turned toward the ocean, hidden from Ace’s sight, but he knew and loved their pure sepia hue. He was dressed in his usual everyday clothes. His toast-colored body rippled with muscle. An ebon mustache brushed against his lip. As Ace drew nearer, he caught a note of Jordan’s familiar scent, a mixture of earthiness and sourness that was uniquely his. His globes softened. It always reminded him of the time they shared. “Sweetiepie,” he called, walking towards him.
He turned around. A smile slowly made its way across his face. “Lovebug. You came.”
Ace shrugged and said only, “Let’s go.” They began their leisurely walk along the ocean’s edge.
Ace never said much on their dates, never showed much emotion. It was just how he was. He thought that by now Jordan might be used to it, so it surprised him when he turned around on him and insisted, “Lovebug… do you truly enjoy these dates?”
Caught off guard, he took a moment to simply stare at Jordan and his guileless spheres filled with henna worry. In measured tones, Ace replied, “I go with you on them. Don’t I?”
That answer seemed to chill Jordan. He furrowed his eyebrows and murmured, “But…” and could say nothing else, letting that word hang there until Ace started to walk again, and Jordan followed his lead and walked beside him. After a few moments, Jordan said quietly, “I enjoy them. Yet, if you don’t, I don’t want to force you.”
“I’m fine,” Ace said firmly. Yet in truth, he was far from fine. He was already bound to another. It haunted him deep down, filled his lungs with agonized tremors, tormented him in the night until he woke to the silent dark. His only solace was that Jordan did not yet know — and that being so, he would continue to pretend that he was not broken.
“If you say so,” Jordan relented. Jordan laid a soft hand on Ace’s arm and Ace let it stay there, warm and comforting to the pain in his soul.
After a few moments, they found themselves walking down the beach again. Endlessly, Ace was haunted by his other oath — but he resolved to battle it alone, as he had all his life. Jordan could not know. No one could. It was his burden alone to bear.
All the same, Jordan seemed to notice. He looked at Ace cautiously for a moment before murmuring, “Ace? Is… something wrong?”
And at that moment everything came together, all of the magic and the hurt that had been building that day, and he locked his windows to his soul with his and whispered, “You can tell me.”
It was like a floodgate burst, or some barrier of fear had been struck down. Ace shook his head and everything came out at once. “It’s that… there’s someone else. Please, I don’t mean like that. I still… I love you, Jordan. My heart lies with you. It is just that I am promised to another. I’m worried that it’ll keep us from being together. I love you. I love you, Jordan! When I think that it might tear us apart… it burns.”
Jordan listened silently and solemnly. At last, when all the words had left Ace and he was at a loss for words, Jordan reached out to him and took a deep breath to whisper back, “Ace… I… I don’t know what it’s like, to live with your other oath… but… I’m sorry, Ace. I wish… I wish I could help.” Ace’s eyes began to burn, and he abruptly pulled Jordan into a fierce embrace. Jordan’s crystals widened at first, but then he too felt overwhelmed by emotion and succumbed to the warmth of Ace’s touch.
“You,” Ace whispered, his breath hot on Jordan’s ear. “As long as you’re here, I… I can make it.” They held each other as tears trickled down cheeks and dripped onto the shifting sands to be carried away into the sea. With time and soothing embraces, their pain dissipated into a mist swept out by the ocean breeze and into the setting sun.
They basked in each other’s quiet companionship for a few moments.
“The sunset is so beautiful, isn’t it?”
Ace lifted his head at Jordan’s words to behold the dying sun’s terra radiance. “Mm.”
After a moment of silence, Jordan asked, “Do you think we’ll be together forever?”
“Please… let it be forever,” Ace murmured in response.
“I would like that, Lovebug. Let’s be together forever, then.” Jordan clutched Ace’s hand and sidled closer.
Ace sighed with contentment and brought Jordan closer. He gazed at the beautiful honey-colored rays of the falling sun, thinking about everything that had transpired on this day and all that would pass between them.
“I love you, Jordan.”
“I love you too, Ace.”
Their lips met, and amber strands met obsidian ones, aflame in the dying light. The sand was their witness and the rumbling ocean their approving audience, and Jordan, his eternally faithful lover. Ace thought to himself that nothing had ever been so perfect for him as this.
… Thus concludes our tale.
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