Montesto startled him so much as he suddenly spoke March took a few steps back “what’re you doing way out here hm?”
“That’s none of your business” March snapped, trying to appear as cool as if he hadn’t been afraid for a second “March, let me take you back to your home”
“After you insulted me?”
“You’re too sensitive…jesus”
“No, you just can be too much of an ass sometimes. I’ve been taking care of myself just fine”
“I don’t need you, go away”
“You do need me”
“You know what, go fuck yourself. I may not be as absurdly strong as you but I can handle myself”
“Look, maybe I shouldn’t have said some of the things I said but maybe it gets annoying that you put yourself in needlessly dangerous situations all the time.”
“You’re not responsible for me so why does it bother you? I don’t want to live a safe, sheltered life. I need trips like this and I don’t even want you to be a part of this one. As far as I’m concerned we don’t have to hangout at all anymore if I’m really that annoying”
“Do I really mean that little to you March? I know you’re angry but is it me really being the ass now? We’re friends, forgive me for not wanting you to venture into a volcano”
“It hasn’t blown in hundreds of years and I wouldn’t even be in it that long, it’s the passage at the base you can only get to from the inside I’m interested in”
“That says nothing about weather you mean you really, truly don’t wish to be my friend anymore based on our argument”
“well this is me Montesto. If I die tomorrow I’ll die happy because I lived my life the most exciting way possible. I mean, you act more like we’re married than friends. You don’t get to tell me what I can and can’t do, even if we were married’ Montesto laughed, but it was hard to determine if it was happy or bitter. It was like some weird mixture of both “I suppose you can’t mean that then, thinking about being married to me, how cute”
March sighed “Montesto, either come with me or don’t but I’m not going home or giving you any more information about what precisely I’m doing unless you’re going to stop being this way” March was obviously still incredibly annoyed, he wasn’t even blushing at his teasing.
Montesto clenched his fists and gritted his teeth. “You can be so…” the sound he let out was somewhere between a growl and a sigh, “fine, whatever, but only to pull your ass out of trouble if something happens.”
“I can pull my own ass out of trouble thank you.”
Montesto ran his fingers through his hair, sweeping it back and away from his face. “Whatever you say, princess, lead the way.”
March glared at him. “The only princess I see here is you.” He turned and started walking and Montesto sighed again as he followed, hating he got so riled up over March sometimes. Him talking about if he died and threatening to not be his friend anymore really pissed him off. Did March really not realize how important he was? Did he really care so little if he died he’d be leaving him alone? He stayed a few feet behind him, staying lost in his own brooding thoughts.
March glanced behind him and could see that Montesto was still in a bad mood. He wasn’t even looking forward, just out into the distance, his arms crossed, his body closed off. He sighed. What was he supposed to do? Montesto was so frustrating sometimes. He was happy Montesto was coming with him, but he hated the distance he was keeping. March slowed down, falling in next to him, but Montesto still didn’t say anything, didn’t even look at him. “Montesto…”
“Sorry, I didn’t realize we were still friends. I’m only here to make sure you don’t get yourself killed.”
“I…” he let out a sigh, “whatever.” He knew he probably shouldn’t have said something like that and trying to apologize wouldn’t work until Montesto calmed down.
About an hour later Montesto seemed a little more open to talking so March stopped him by grabbing his hand, seeming to startle Montesto out of his thoughts a bit “Look…Montesto I…you just really hurt my feelings this time. I’ve really done stuff like this all my life. Most people think it’s cool but when I talk to you about it you make me feel like you don’t think I can handle myself despite the fact I’ve always done it or that you feel like I’m making your life hard by doing it…I don’t know how to live a safe life and I really don’t want to. That being said…maybe I was the asshole this time. I’m always giving you a hard time about how you talk to me and others but I probably shouldn’t have said most the things I said. I’m sorry…and I’m sorry if you feel like my babysitter…I like you to come but feel free just to stay behind when I go somewhere. We’re friends, I’m not some kid brother you need to look after”
March let go of Montestos hand, knowing he was mad. He wasn’t sure if he should have done it in the first place but this was the kind of conversation he wanted to have looking at each other, not walking along in the direction Montesto obviously didn’t want to go. Montesto was just standing there, looking down at March and trying to figure out what to say to him. When he finally spoke he said “I care about what happens to you…I feel like you should too…its not fair to make me care so much about you then put your life in danger all the time and it’s not fair to talk about the possibility of us not being friends. I try so hard for you”
“I never meant I didn’t want to be your friend. I was saying you didn’t have to be”
“Of course I don’t have to be damn it. I want to be around you, I want to know you’re safe and that I’m going to see you tomorrow and all the days after that” March sighed, feeling guilty. He had never seen Montesto this emotional. He could see in his face he was hurting more than he was angry. “I wont go if this is that big a deal then alright. Lets go home” March wasn’t sure this trip would be fun any more anyway. He felt guilty now and he wasn’t sure any amount of talking would make his close friend alright with this. He’d figure out something else to do, maybe in a few weeks once Montesto felt better after this particularly bad argument. It was the first time March would leave one feeling like a jerk and he hoped it would be the last.
Montesto sighed. “We may as well go, we’re already walking that way anyway.”
“You wanted to go so let’s go. Let’s not argue anymore, okay, let’s just go. You’re not forcing me, I want to, but if something happens I reserve the right to gloat about being right.”
“I’ve already decided, so come on, lead the way.”
“Alright, but only if you promise me you don’t feel forced.”
March nodded and they started walking again. Montesto relaxed a little more, doing his best to enjoy the nice weather and being close to March. It wasn’t like he was some sort of coward, but the idea of March getting seriously hurt or killed ate at him. “So what are we doing anyway?” He finally asked.
“Hm? Oh, well I heard that there are a lot of interesting stones inside some of the old lava tubes and even more so closer to the core.”
“Rare, hard to find, strange. That’s what I was told. I was hoping to get a few, but if not then at least see them.”
He had to admit he was curious what they would look like “Together I’m sure we could carry quite a few out for you to keep”
“I really think this is going to be cool and we’ll leave the second anything seems off but there shouldn’t be any problems”
“How about after this I take you somewhere peaceful, just to give my nerves a break.”
“maybe thats what our friendship needs in general. Switching between peaceful and thrilling adventures. I’m in so lets not actually collect the stones this time. I don’t want to have to take them back to my home nor do I want to be carrying stones where ever you are wanting to go” Montesto smiled, something that gave a surprising amount of relief to March “so we’ll be going right after? Hm, all this time alone with you. How fun”
March blushed and Montesto felt more of his worry melt away. “Well, think of where you want to go then or I might decide to take you somewhere more exciting.” March replied, trying to fight down the heat in his face.
“Oh don’t worry, I have an idea, somewhere so beautiful and serene you won’t want to leave.” He winked and saw March’s blush deepen. “Look how embarrassed you are, how cute.”
“I’m not…jerk, it’s the way you say things.”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“Maybe you’re just hearing what you want to hear, maybe you want me to be suggestive.” He teased
March didn’t see Montesto talking to anybody else much so it was hard to tell if he was just like this or was truly flirting with him as much as it seemed. Even if March found out this was just how he was and there wasn’t any attraction there he was sure it would still get him just as red. Montesto was incredibly attractive with his perfectly sculpted body. Even his pink eyes, they just went so amazingly with the shade of green his hair was. Montestos hair also seemed to be soft and somehow, no matter what Montesto smelled incredible. It didn’t matter what they did he always smelled as if he had just showered. He guessed his natural scent was just that incredible. He may be frustrating but deep down Montesto was a good, charming and incredibly alluring man.
It made March want to know where he really stood with him. Were they actually just friends with nothing more between them or did Montesto have feelings for him. While March in the past had just asked someone when he wanted to know something like that he was a little more hesitant with Montesto due to how far he’d take teasing. If Montesto was just like this in general March knew he might never stop teasing him.
“You wish, I think you think to highly of yourself.”
“Would you like to test that theory?”
“I want to make good time, so no.”
Montesto chuckled. “Oh sure.”
“I mean it.” He looked up at him, trying to look as serious as possible, but it was hard when Montesto was smiling at him. “At least you’re in a better mood.”
Montesto shrugged. “It’s hard to stay mad at you.”
March’s heart skipped a beat and he knew Montesto heard it. He couldn’t pull his eyes away. “What do you mean?”
“I mean what I mean, it’s hard to stay mad at you.” March was so focused on him that he tripped over and rock and if not for Montesto, he would have fallen on his face. “Wow, such grace, perhaps we should go back.” He teased.
They continued walking, their normal back and forth of teasing and quips. That night as they laid on the ground Montesto was frustrated but at himself, not March. He had finally started feeling they were at a point he could ask March out but nope, they had just fought again. He wanted to be better for March, to not let his temper flare up like it always had but it was near impossible when he became worried over him. He looked over at March, knowing he had to accept that the man he loved couldn’t be happy with a sheltered life. He needed to live on the edge and he was going to work on being more accepting of that.
When March woke Montesto already had some fruit for them to eat “thank you” he said sleepily. “It’s a long journey so I figured I’d use waking up before you productively” March took some, happy to instantly have something instead of having to look for himself. He felt glad all over again Montesto came. He did take care of him at times more than Mach cared to admit to himself. Soon they were off again, Montesto keeping a little closer to March than he had yesterday.
“There she is.” March said, pointing and Montesto suppressed his groan at the sight of the volcano. “Isn’t she beautiful?”
“That’s not exactly the word I would use, but if it makes you happy then yes, it’s beautiful.”
“It’ll be alright.”
“Just don’t take any unnecessary risks, please. I know you’re a wild child, but for me, don’t do anything too dangerous. You know I will pull you out of anything, but I don’t want you hurt.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t do anything stupid.”
Montesto nodded, wanting to make March happy, he deserved to be happy. Even if he himself wasn’t big on doing things like this, he wanted March to have fun, to smile. He tuned into the sound of the earth, listening for any signs of magma moving around, waiting for any shudder of the ground.
Everything sounded just as dormant as March claimed it was but Montesto would keep an ear out. The sooner they got away the better. March was moving faster now, obviously eager to get to his stones. They arrived at the volcano much too soon but thankfully all was still silent, the volcanic beast still sleeping soundly. “you ready Montesto?” March asked “lead the way” somehow even those three words were charming. They began the trip up which was a long journey in itself. March wanted to take it slow and really take in this amazing volcano but he didn’t stop. The main thing he wanted to see wasn’t here and he was also curious about where Montesto wanted to take him after this.
“So where’s the entrance?” Montesto asked.
“On the inside.”
Of course it was, Montesto though to himself, but he wasn’t going to spoil this for March, not when he had that almost child like look of wonder on his face. Once they made it to the peak, march through his arms open, gesturing to all of the interior. “It’s bigger than I imagined.” Montesto said.
“It’s amazing, look at it. Can you imagine this thing forming? What about how hot it must have been inside when it was still alive? It’s magnificent.”
“Well, not as magnificent as you, but it’s up there I suppose.”
March blushed, his heart dancing. “You’re teasing.” Montesto shrugged then gave him a wink. “Jerk, come on before I toss you in.”
“Alright, alright, after you boss.”
They carefully went inside, continuing to be cautious up until they found the stones “god they are prettier than I thought they’d be” March looked so amazed again. It was so adorable and they were so close Montesto kissed March before he knew what he was doing. He had just been waiting so long and he had thought a few days ago was the day he could tell him how he felt but they had argued again instead of having the loving conversation he had wanted to have. March found himself kissing back a few moments before he came back to reality too and gently pushed him away “wha…what was that…” Both their hearts were beating rapidly and all Montesto wanted to do was kiss him again but instead he answered him “I want to say sorry but…I’ve wanted to do that a long time”
March was having trouble putting coherent thoughts together. He had almost completely forgotten where they were and why they were there “Um…maybe we should get out of here…
“No, it’s okay, I wont do that again”
“I can’t breath or think, I’ve…um…lets just get out of here. We can come back sometime…”
“are you mad at me?” Montesto asked sadly “I’m not mad” March answered.
“But I’ve ruined your time here haven’t I?” Montesto sighed, feeling like an idiot. Of course he had.
“I didn’t say that.”
“It’s fine, after you.” He moved aside and gestured for March to go ahead of him.
March wanted to say something else, but the look on Montesto’s face and the shock of what had just happened had him heading for the exit. He tried not to rush, not wanting Montesto to think he was trying to run away from him. He just need to breathe, needed open space to gather his thoughts. March took a deep, steadying breath the moment they were outside, thankful for how cool the air had become. “Should we climb back up?” Montesto asked.
“No, here’s good.” He turned around, his face heating even more when his eyes met Montesto’s. “Um…I…”
“You don’t have to force yourself, it was stupid of me to do something so impulsively. I’m sorry. I guess I read everything wrong.”
“Stop…just hold on, okay?” March took another breath. “I was just surprised and…and we were in a confined space. I’m not mad or upset, just didn’t expect you to kiss me.” He swallowed. “It’s not like I hated it or anything.”
“I really have wanted to do that for such a long time…I’ve been falling more and more in love with you. I’ve been trying to be a better man for you so that you could start to look at me as someone you want around forever.”
“why have you held back? I mean, you’re not really that type. ”
“because I know I can be frustrating and selfish. I get in these moods and I know what its like to deal with me because moodiness just seems to run in my family. I’m not making an excuse for it, I want to be better. I wanted to wait until we could go awhile without arguing before I told you how I felt but…Iguess how tempting you are got the better of me in there. I don’t often have you that close to me” March blushed again at how sincere Montesto sounded. This was not at all what he had expected out of this.
“Well, I…I like you too.”
“Really?” Montesto ran his fingers nervously through his hair, pushing it back. “By like do you mean, romantically or as a friend?” March started to answer, but Montesto felt he had to add, “I won’t get mad if you don’t feel the same way I do.”
“Montesto,” he reached out and took his hand. He looked so nervous, like he was out of his depth and didn’t know how to get his footing back. “I wouldn’t have kissed you back if I…if I didn’t like you more than a friend. I was just so flustered I guess I ran away.”
Montesto gave him a smile of relief and leaned down, pressing their foreheads together. “Thank goodness. I was worried I’d chased you off. Losing you would have been terrible.”
March smiled softly “it’s nice to know you were actually flirting with me. I often wondered if that was just your personality” Montesto chuckled “No, you’re special to me March. It’s why I’ll always keep you safe and why I’ve come so far in controlling my attitude”
“want to take me to that peaceful place you were talking about?”
“You barely got to see the stones?” March had to look away due to his intense embarrassment when he said “I just…want to be with you. I saw them but thats not what I care about right now” Montesto reached out gently, moving March’s head so he could kiss him again. When they parted lips Montesto said softly “peaceful would be a nice change of pace”
“Where are you taking me?” March asked as they walked side by side, heading away from the volcano.
“A lagoon I found some time back, it’s beautiful and quiet. You’ll love it, you can dive down into the water so there’s a little excitement for you.”
“I don’t have anything to swim in.”
Montesto shrugged. “Then I guess you’ll have to swim in nothing.” He grinned and March blushed, his heart stuttering in his chest.
“Maybe I won’t swim.”
“Oh? So you’d make me play in the water all alone?”
“No…I mean…” Montesto’s smile got bigger and March let out a little groan. “I can’t win.”
“Then just give in.”
March took his hand which surprised Montesto a little but he hoped it was a sign that his teasing and flirting would be more endearing now that March knew his feelings. Montesto found it easier to express himself through more playful ways rather than trying to get serious. He held firmly to March’s hand, praying he wasn’t going to screw this up. It was evening by the time they made it to the lagoon but resting or food was far from March’s mind. His explorative nature had him running over to the water with Montesto. He stopped at the edge, just admiring it’s beauty. Montesto looked over at him with a grin. He always found it sweet how much beauty March could find in things.
“You were right, I love it. Even if it is quiet.” March said as he smiled up at Montesto then blushed when he saw the adoring way he was being watched.
“It’s better with you here.”
March looked away, his heart dancing in his chest. “I doubt it.”
“I mean it.” He stepped behind March and wrapped his arms around him. “I have been here many times, but just your presence makes it so much more enjoyable.” He bent down and pressed a kiss to March cheek then turned his head to press another to his lips.
March swallowed, his entire body burning. “Um…should we look around, maybe swim?”
“ah, so you are going to swim…lets get off those clothes then” Montesto said suggestively, causing March to turn a deep red. Montesto chuckled, kissing March “come on, I wont do anything to you. You know you can trust me March. All I want to do is love and protect you” March swallowed “I…I suppose we could swim naked”
“You mean it?” March nodded and Montesto removed his shirt then pants, waiting for March to strip before he pulled off his boxers. March was much slower about it but soon they were both standing there in nothing but their underwear. Montesto caressed his cheek “you’re incredibly handsome” March nervously swallowed again but took off his boxers. He was so hot from blushing he was eager to get in the water and cool down.
The water was cool, causing him to shiver and goosebumps to cover his skin. Montesto gave a little laugh and March glared at him. “It’s not my fault it’s cold.”
“Then I should warm you up until you’re used to it.” Montesto grabbed his hand and pulled him closer, March unable to stop himself due to the water. He flushed when he found himself pressed against Montesto, felt his arms wrapping around him.
“You said you wouldn’t do anything?”
“I’m just warming you, nothing more, I promise.” He scooped some water up and onto March’s back. “As soon as you’re ready, I’ll let you go.”
Montesto tilted March’s head back, smiling down at him. “Trust me.”
“I do.” Montesto pressed a kiss to his forehead then just held him, scooping more water onto him, helping him get used to the change in temperature. The moment March said he was okay, Montesto let him go so they could swim.
Montesto was his same, playful, teasing self and soon March actually forgot they were naked. He was just having so much fun with him and this new comfort of their feelings for eachother being on the table. It was only the actual sight of Montesto when they got out the water to dress and find their dinner for the night that he remembered, this time managing not to blush. He quickly averted his eyes, missing Montestos grin since he had felt March looking at him. Montesto dressed as well and offered to find them something if March would start a fire.
March could only nod and Montesto let out a chuckle as he leaned in a kissed his cheek before turning to leave. “Stay safe my sweet.” He said.
March took a deep breath once Montesto was out of sight, his hand pressed against his chest as if he could physically stop his thundering heart. Montesto was such an intense person. He gathered wood, humming to himself. Once he had enough, he piled it up and got a fire started then dropped down next to it. He stared at the flames as they danced, letting out a happy little sigh. “Comfortable?” He jumped at Montesto’s voice and looked up, seeing he had a rabbit.
“Yeah um…do you need some help?”
“No, you just relax, I can manage.”
“Are you sure?”
“You…should bring me more places like this…I had fun”
“I have many places I’d greatly enjoy taking you. We can just stay here until you’re bored then move on to the next place and simply keep on that way if you’d like. You’ve drug me around most our friendship, I’d like a turn”
“Okay” Montesto chuckled again “don’t suddenly get nervous on me. It’s adorable, I may just become too enamored to resist you March”
“I’m” he was going to say he was sorry and Montesto knew it so he interupted him with another kiss , venturing to then kiss his cheek then move down to kiss his neck “stop being so cute” Montesto whispered.
“You are and if you don’t stop, we’ll never eat.” He grinned. “Well that’s not entirely true, I may nibble on you a little.”
He kissed March again, smiling against his lips. “What am I going to do with you? You’re near impossible to resist.”
“Hmm, but you’re far more delicious than rabbit.”
March swallowed. “Um…I…”
Montesto chuckled. “I love you, March, I hope you know that.” March nodded and he pulled away, deciding to cook before he got in trouble.
The newly formed couple spent the next two days there then moved on to the next place Montesto wanted to go. Truly anywhere where would be amazing as long as he kept getting to spend all his time with March. Montesto hoped that if they traveled together long enough before March wanted to go home he’d be open to them living together by the time they returned. He knew keeping him out wouldn’t be hard, March already liked traveling so much he rarely saw his home so Montesto planned for this to be a start of an incredibly long journey.
~ The End