“And...like I said. We’re an hour away from each other. All year.”
He wanted Ilya to see this vision as clearly as he could. It seemed tantalizingly possible. Easy, even.
“And you’d be in Canada. And you could apply for citizenship eventually.”
“Yes. I understand that part.”
“And maybe...someday. When we both retire. We can...be together. For real.”
Ilya looked stunned by that part. “You really think that far ahead, Hollander?”
“I do about this.”
“You want that? To be together?”
“I do. So much it terrifies me.”
Ilya turned his face away from Shane, and was silent. Cold dread flooded Shane’s stomach; he had admitted too much."
“But Ilya turned back and quickly rolled on top of Shane and was kissing him and kissing him and kept murmuring the same thing in Russian over and over again until he pulled back and translated:
“I love you.”
Shane froze. And then Ilya froze.
“Holy shit,” Shane whispered. It wasn’t how he had meant to respond.
“I...” Ilya’s eyes were so wide and so scared.
“I love you too,” Shane said.
Ilya gave a shaky smile and exhaled. “Thank Christ.”
“Does it...does it feel like agony for you too?”
Ilya started to nod, then stopped. He shook his head slowly instead.
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