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I love you.

It was out there. Yuri had finally voiced what he knew in his heart. It was far from the romantic moment he’d long thought such a confession would be, but he knew that it was the right time. His mate, his love, needed to know how he felt.

The way Victor returned his kisses made it clear that the words had helped. Then Yuri’s heart sang when Victor admitted that he loved him in return.

Their mouths came together as if it were the first time, and in a way it was. The pain that Victor had kept buried for so long was in the open. Though it didn’t change Yuri’s feelings, he was seeing a part of his mate that had been hidden for too long.

The kisses were soft and gentle. They explored the change in their relationship slowly, moving from chaste presses of the lips to tongues dancing between open mouths. They curled into each other, desiring the closeness.

Fingers ran over faces and down necks, up arms and across shoulders. But when Victor’s hand traced down Yuri’s chest he broke the kiss.

“Yuri?”

Yuri nuzzled into his mate’s neck. “Hmm?”

“I… I think we should go shower.”

Yuri chuckled and kissed the Russian’s jaw. “I was thinking that too, but didn’t want to say anything.”

They kissed for a few more minutes before climbing out of bed. Once they had donned yukata and slippers they kissed some more. They walked through the silent halls leaning against each other, hands tangled together.

At some point they passed a clock, and Yuri knew that morning practice was likely off the table. It was slightly after three in the morning.

The changing room was understandably empty as they stepped in. Victor was already tugging at the sash on his yukata when Yuri stilled his hand. The younger man rose up and kissed his him softly. “Let me take care of you Vitya.”

Victor stared for a moment, then smiled softly.

Yuri sank back down on his feet and loosened the sash on Victor’s yukata. He smiled at his mate then walked behind the taller man. His fingers brushed up the Russian’s back until they grasped the hem of the garment, which he slowly drew down over alabaster shoulders. He dropped kisses onto the bare skin as he exposed it, making the omega shiver.

Once Victor was nude, Yuri made quick work of his own yukata before snuggling against the older man’s back for a few seconds. He loved him, and there was warmth in his heart knowing that the emotion was returned.

They slipped into the washing room, and Yuri was glad that the late hour gave them privacy. The only sounds were the soft drips of water as steam condensed on the ceiling and cooled again until it fell. The soft night lighting gave the area an intimate feel.

Yuri silently led Victor to one of the washing stations and had him sit on the stool. He then filled a tub with hot water and draped a washcloth over the rim. He made sure that the soap and shampoo he grabbed were Victor’s favorites, then knelt in front of his mate.

Yuri knew it would be faster to simply spray Victor’s skin, but he wanted to take his time and truly let the man know how precious he was.

Yuri plunged the cloth into the hot water, wrung it slightly, then wet his mate’s face with it. He washed away trails of tears and smiled when Victor closed his eyes and relaxed into the gentle treatment. He moved down to the omega’s neck, and when the cloth started to cool he refreshed it in the hot water again.

He moved slowly, giving his full attention to every part of the beautiful omega. He wiped away the dirt of the day, and made sure that the cloth stayed warm. He massaged into the touch as he drew it down Victor’s back, and acted almost in reverence as he moved to the front again and wiped clean the mingled trails of cum from earlier. He rubbed circles in the man’s legs and smiled at the way Victor squirmed when Yuri accidentally tickled between his toes.

Yuri rose once the first rinse was done, tossed out the water and refilled the tub with fresh, hot, clean water. He then repeated the process, lathering soap onto the man he loved. It was only when it was time to rinse that he stopped using the washcloth, preferring instead to pour clean water over his omega.

Yuri felt it was symbolic in a way. He was washing his mate, but washing away the fears of abandonment as well. He tried to wash away as much pain as he could, but knew that it would be a longer process.

Soap rinsed, he refilled the tub once more and poured some of the water over Victor’s hair. Once the fine strands were sufficiently wet he squeezed a small amount of shampoo into his hand and started working it through the sea of platinum. He massaged Victor’s head, and felt the Russian relax underneath him.

Yuri hummed softly as he worked, and as Victor joined in he realized that the song was Stay Close To Me.

After the shampoo had a minute to sit he poured the remaining water over Victor’s hair until it was rinsed.

With Victor taken care of, Yuri turned a sprayer on himself, lathered and shampooed as quickly as possible and rinsed. He didn’t want to keep his mate waiting for long. As soon as he felt that he was clean enough he offered his arm to his love and silently led him to the outside baths.

The lighting outside was low and soft, just enough to keep from falling as they stepped into the pool. It was a moonless night and stars dusted the sky as they moved to a secluded corner of the bath. The chill of the November air made them hurry to the refuge of heat.

They sat in the hot water and nestled together, silently relishing the other’s presence. Eventually their mouths found each other’s again, and they kissed, fingers brushing against faces and cradling heads.

“I love you,” Yuri murmured as they separated.

“I love you too,” the Russian whispered back.

The words still felt precious and new. Saying them, hearing them, it took Yuri’s breath away. For a moment he wondered if he was dreaming, but the nibble on his lower lip as another kiss deepened was enough to let him know it was real.

The gentle sound of falling water as Yuri moved from sitting beside the man he loved to straddling his lap. Victor gave him a look of shock, to which Yuri replied by taking the Russian’s face between his hands and kissing him passionately.

Yuri pulled back and stared into the omega’s eyes. The white’s were still reddened from crying, and it hurt that he couldn’t erase the pain that had built up over the years. He wanted his mate to feel only love and happiness.

He leaned back in and kissed Victor’s eyelids, forehead, cheeks; whispering words of love between them. He couldn’t make his mate’s painful past vanish, but he could accept it as part of the man he cherished.

To truly embrace the man in front of him meant accepting him as a whole; the star, the coach, the goof, and the traumatized omega. He would love every part, passionately, with all of himself. To disregard any one aspect of Victor’s life experiences would change him, and Yuri couldn’t imagine anything less than the Victor he knew.

Yuri didn’t have the words to properly convey everything that Victor meant to him, so he kissed him instead. Gentle longing with chaste presses of the lips, swirling to heated, passionate desire with deep, tongue-tangling, bouts that left them both breathless. Between them he whispered the only words that mattered: “I love you.”

Hands explored, Yuri’s across Victor’s shoulders and chest, while the Russian searched for undiscovered nuances of the younger man’s back.

He was getting hard again as they kissed, the alpha within urging him to take his injured mate back to bed to make him feel good. But the rational side suppressed it. There was time for that later.

Then Victor’s hand drifted lower, cupping his ass. Fingertips brushed over his still-sensitive entrance. Yuri gasped and jolted, and felt the press of the omega’s erection against his thigh.

“Is this ok Yuri?” Victor asked softly, rubbing at his hole.

Yuri realized that it was the first time the omega had asked to be inside him, the other times he’d asked for himself. Yuri nodded and pressed back, encouraging his mate to lead. He buried his face in Victor’s shoulder and moaned as softly as he could as a long finger pressed inside.

He was still fairly loose and open from their earlier activities, but Victor took his time stretching him and massaging his sweet spot anyway. By the time the fingers were removed he was already in a state of deep pleasure.

Victor guided him to kneel at the edge of the pool, head resting on his arms as he laid against the stone perimeter. The contrast of chill air and heated water only made his nerves more sensitive to the moment. There was a dry burn at first as the Russian pushed in, but he still was lubed enough on the inside to quickly have the comfortable push and pull.

Victor moved slowly inside him, and it felt so good. He stifled his moans against his arms with each deep thrust, and the Russian hadn’t even sought out his prostate yet.

Victor leaned across his back, kissing at the skin between shoulder blades. “I used to dream about bringing you down here in the middle of the night and making love to you just like this,” he admitted softly. “When I realized you were an alpha I thought the fantasy had died with it. Then… you wanted me inside you and… Yuri… you’re too good for me. I love you so much and… is this moment even real?”

Yuri smiled and moaned from a deep thrust before he found words. “It has to be real, even my dreams never felt this good.”

Victor stilled for a moment and shook with emotion.                                               

“Mmm, Vitya… don’t stop,” Yuri whimpered. “You feel so good.”

Victor wrapped his hands around Yuri’s middle and hugged him as he pressed as deep as he could. “I love you Yuri.”

Yuri smiled as Victor started moving again. “I love you too.”

They tried to be as quiet as possible. The lapping of water at the walls of the pool sounded the pace of deep and languid thrusts. Soft moans were swept away by a gentle breeze.

Victor found Yuri’s sweet spot and rubbed against it with each movement of his cock. Soon the alpha was shaking with pleasure. He pushed up from the side of the pool, arching his back.

“Kiss me,” Yuri demanded, knowing that the only way to contain his moans was with Victor’s mouth.

Victor leaned in and Yuri turned his torso enough so that they could kiss. Victor’s left hand braced Yuri’s stomach and his right wrapped around his cock. Yuri gasped and moaned deeply as the hand started stroking in time with the thrusts.

“I’m not going to last long if you keep doing that,” Yuri warned softly between kisses.

Victor smiled against his lips. “Good. I’m not far off myself and I want to feel it.”

“Vitya…” Yuri moaned as his mouth opened for another round of kisses.

The pace increased slightly, but the tender nature stayed the same as Victor thrust into him. It wasn’t just sex, it was strengthening the new bonds between them, pulling them together a little bit more.

Yuri’s orgasm came up in a rolling wave, gentle, building on itself, until he was drowned in ecstasy. He moaned into Victor’s mouth, senses whited out as everything but pleasure was stripped away. His very essence was laid bare to the man inside him, and he trusted completely that it would be well cared for.

He heard his name as he came back from the plateau, Victor moaning it over and over. He felt the pulse deep inside and hummed appreciatively.

Victor leaned against him, trembling with aftershocks of bliss. They stayed that way for several minutes before separating and cuddling in the warmth of the water again.

There were no words between them as they sat, enjoying the solitude, the quiet and the presence of each other. No words were needed.

They kissed and cuddled, and after a while made their way back to their bedroom. It was with silent understanding that Victor laid back and Yuri moved to cover him.

Yuri hovered over the omega before leaning in and pressing a kiss to his lips. His mate was spread beneath him, waiting, wanting. He pushed into the warm heat, and savored the moan that left Victor’s lips, burned into memory the sight of his head thrown back in pleasure.

The night had exposed new cracks in the man he cherished, and he was going to fill them with a love that only he could express.