There was a storm raging outside, and our room was filled with worry and anticipation. Although we knew we were safe from the lightning, we nearly jumped every time we heard thunder. Well, perhaps I was the one doing most of the jumping. Atlas seemed to be deep in thought, his face lacking emotion. Perhaps he was thinking back to the times when he had been forced to survive storms such as this one without shelter. He had been on the run, trying to escape Raife, for so long it seemed hard to believe.
“I'm kinda scared,” I told him, not even trying to sound brave.
He blinked as if woken from a dream, and his eyes turned to look at me. He wasn't smiling, but there was no sign of anger or annoyance on his face either.
“Because of the storm?” he asked.
I stopped to actually think about it. I was definitely scared of the storm, but it was more than that. My fear went much deeper, and it jumped from one thought to another. It was a dark and gloomy feeling, and it filled me with crushing exhaustion. I was scared of being forgotten and alone. Even though Atlas was literally but a few inches away, I was afraid of us being separated.
“You know I'm a Moon-Att and I can feel all your emotions, right?” Atlas said with a sigh, moving a bit closer to me.
“Sorry, I know you have your own problems.”
“Don't give me that.”
He rolled his eyes.
“You clearly want to be closer. It's important to you, and I think you just need it. I may not be the most affectionate person, but I'm your brother and your boyfriend. I'm not going to pretend everything's fine and just watch you be miserable.”
“Can we cuddle, then?” I asked.
“You pushed me away last night.” Atlas’ voice was vibrating with annoyance, but I could tell by his eyes that he was mostly amused. “Maybe I should treat you the same way?”
“That was different!” I exclaimed, trying but failing to sound like an adult. “It was too hot in the room. You know I love lying in your arms. It's my favorite thing in the world. It used to be magic, but it changed when we first slept in the same bed. Maybe I shouldn't think that way, but that's just the way I…”
“Oh, just shut up and come here,” Atlas interrupted with a groan.
Without even waiting for me to move he settled closer to my body and wrapped his strong arms around me, hugging me from behind. His heartbeat was steady, and I could feel his soft breath on the back of my neck. His lips were brushing my skin, and I knew he was trying to help me calm down.
“Thanks,” I whispered.
“You can thank me properly when we wake up.” His murmur made my whole body shiver, which in turn made him chuckle. “No need to be shy now. You do wake me up every morning with an amazing blowjob, and I never even asked you for one. Not even once.”
“I-I just…” I tried to answer but couldn't find the words.
“I know.” He held me even tighter. “I'm just teasing you.”
After that, we were silent for a moment. I felt so safe and so loved I had to keep myself from crying. It was an incredible feeling, being able to let go of all your doubts, worries and insecurities, even just for a little while. Atlas has become my rock by keeping me grounded and my home thanks to his unconditional love and devotion. He didn't need to be overly affectionate or eager to talk about his feelings. In my eyes he was perfect just the way he was.
“I love being in your arms,” I murmured, dusting his fingers with kisses.
“I'm just really happy I found the courage to tell you the truth.” I sighed heavily. “I can't imagine what our lives would have been like if we were just brothers.”
Atlas was silent for a long while, his muscles weirdly tense.
“I would have protected you either way. This here… is an addition. It doesn't change the fact that I'm still your brother. But,” he hesitated, “I'm also glad you confessed when you did. I wouldn't have brought it up. I would be too afraid of scaring you off. I can be too blunt at times.”
“You don't say.”
“Oh, shut up,” he barked out, burying his nose in my hair and inhaling my scent. “You smell really nice. Did you buy a new shampoo?”
“We use the same one, remember? Actually, Shreya took me to a spa for a few treatments. Nothing drastic. My nose is still the same, as is the rest of me. I just wanted to relax a bit and spend some quality time with her.”
Atlas groaned, probably with the intention of telling me going to a spa was being too much, but he didn't actually say anything. I wanted to tease him about becoming soft because of me, but I decided I preferred not to get punched.
“Stop with these thoughts,” he complained after a few moments. “I'm a Moon-Att, remember? I know you're over the moon, but do try to keep these feelings down. I don't wanna get all sappy.”
“Yeah, right,” I laughed. “Just admit that you enjoy being surrounded by these feelings. If you really hated them that much, you would have already punched me.”
“I hate you,” he whined, kissing the back of my neck once again.
“I love you too.”
Silence filled the room, and I realized the storm was getting weaker. The wind was no longer howling right outside our window, and the roaring thunder was now but a memory from what seemed like a different lifetime.
“You're safe with me,” Atlas whispered, touching my leg with his feet. “Always. I will always protect you. No matter what.”
I swallowed heavily.
“You've been keeping me safe for years, long before we even met. I trust you completely.”
“Good,” he kissed me one more time before embracing me even tighter. “Let's sleep now. We both have classes tomorrow. Goodnight.”