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A Love Like Religion

By Alon Garcia

Romance

Chapter 1

Now we're lost somewhere in outer space
In a hotel room where demons play
They run around beneath our feet
We roll around beneath these sheets

I've got a lover
A love like religion
I'm such a fool for sacrifice
It's coming down, down, coming down
It's coming down, down, coming down


When she wakes up, for a moment she can't remember where she is. Nothing around her feels familiar. The bed is too big to be her own and the sheets are too rough to be his.

His.

She slowly cranes her neck, ignoring the complaints from her sore muscles, and sees him sleeping behind her. His arm is outstretched in front of him, as if she had somehow managed to slip away from his grasp. How metaphorical, she thinks, but there is no bitterness to her thoughts. Instead, she makes her way towards him, settling his arm around her waist, arranging herself back to the way they fell asleep last night. She tries to let her exhaustion take her back to sleep but she can't.

The room is too hot and she's finding herself distracted again, by the way Sasuke's hair falls into his closed eyes. His face is serene. It took time for her to get used to seeing his face without all the rage and pain. It took time for her to get used to seeing him around the village again. But it did not take long at all for her feelings towards him to come bubbling into the surface once more. The feelings never left. They were a constant throughout her life, even when he wasn't physically there with her. They made her stronger. And she supposes she has him to thank for that.

She can hear the gossiping villagers now.

That foolish Haruno girl.

What does she think she's doing?

Falling in love with the devil and following him around like that.

She's got a death wish.

And maybe she does. But death would taste sweeter than being left behind by him again.

It takes her a moment to realise that he is awake and contemplating her too. Maybe it was because he never lets his guard down or maybe it was because she had just been staring at him for too long. Whatever the reason, she smiles fondly at him anyway and the corners of his bruised lips lift into a smirk. His hair still obstructs her view of his mismatched eyes but she can sense his gaze darkening as he slips his cold hands under her shirt and she feels him shaking.

She wants to laugh because how many times has he made her weak in the knees over the years? And yet as soon as he touches her skin he trembles. As if he's holding something fragile when he knows she's far from it. As if he's afraid she'll break even though he's been the cause of it so many times over. Maybe it's because he won't ever forgive himself even though she has.

She's given him too much.

She's an idiot for loving a man who's tried to kill her.

His hands — still so cold, even in the sweltering room — roam across her back and elicit shivers down her spine. He's mapping every inch of her skin and pinpointing the spots that make her moan and arch into him. She is completely pliable in his hands. But she does not give in without a fight.

Her lips find their way to his pulse and she feels it quicken almost instantly, beating harshly against her open mouth. She hears him groaning into her ear and she smiles against his skin, trailing her way along the side of his neck, his jaw, until she latches firmly onto his mouth. She pushes and pulls against him and he's left paralysed for a second before he starts reciprocating. His lips taste like the fruits they had after dinner last night, sweet and slightly tangy. The most addictive thing she's ever tasted.

She's lost herself in her senses. All that exists are their unspoken gestures and broken words. For a moment that lasts so much more than a moment, she forgets that they're tangled in foreign sheets, in some rundown hotel room. Instead she imagines them spinning in outer space. She does not feel the gravity binding her to the Earth. In its place she feels a lightness that she cannot explain.

It's a lightness she hasn't felt in a long time, if ever. The closest she can remember are the days before Sasuke first left.

Before she can stop him — not like she was going to anyway — he's slipping down down down, rearranging blankets before growing impatient and tossing them to the floor. He reaches the insides of her thighs and starts by pressing open mouthed kisses onto her soft skin. Higher and higher until he reaches his goal and her breath is cut short.

The feeling is inexplicable.

Incredible.

He's gentle. Too slow. She wants — no, needs — to thread her fingers in his hair and pull his face closer against her. But he is still careful not to startle her, still afraid that she'll realise her mistakes and run away. It's hard to believe he's the same man who's committed all those crimes. But isn't that the reason she's here? To help him atone for his sins even though he's never cared about hers?

Her thought process is cut short as she glances down and finds one of his eyes glowing red in the darkness. He can feel her impatience and he starts moving his lips, his tongue, his teeth against her more forcefully. Her own eyes roll to the back of her head and she feels him smirk against her, obviously pleased at the sounds she's making. She screws her eyes shut but he forces her to look at him, fingers holding onto her chin.

This man.

He is every prayer she has left unsaid. And right now he is her only answer.

Foolish Haruno girl.

Sacrificing everything for the devil.

Unapologetic is the only way to describe her in this moment. Her lover feels far too good between her thighs to give the incessant admonishments another thought. She may be a fool but she can never regret any of her choices. Can never regret choosing him.

As if sensing her scattered thoughts, he climbs back up and kisses her, breathing her in and taking all of her worries with him. She doesn't know how much he wants to shoulder all her pain. How much he wants to make everything right by her. How he regrets ever hurting her in the first place.

He carries on slowly and she's blinded in bliss. His one arm is bracing his whole body above her and she brushes his skin, from his shoulder corded with overused muscles and veins, to his hand where she intertwines their fingers as he brings them above her head. Their eyes remain locked, through every rasping groan and every desperate grind of hips against hips.

She lets him in and they push against and into each other again and again until she's close so close to coming undone. She locks him down onto her with her ankles crossed behind him and her nails scratching her innermost secrets onto his back. He hisses through his teeth and seeks out her mouth with his own. It is both rough with unrelenting want and sweet with earnest need at the same time.

With pleasure crashing towards them in perpetual waves, they both careen over the edge and fall headfirst into rapture. Hands everywhere. Mouths pressing into every inch of skin they can reach. Bodies still tangled until they can't tell where one ends and the other begins. They're both spent and breathing hard against sweat-slicked skin.

They have never done it this way before.

She felt that same pent-up longing from all those years of loving him come back up to the surface. And he's never said it out loud but she felt it coming from him too. It's enough for her. It's a simple compromise she has to make.

They're coming down now. Settling into comfortable contentment. This is new for the both of them but she can definitely get used to it. With her fingers combing through his damp hair and his forehead leaning against hers. His arm has once again found its place around her waist and this time she anchors herself to him by her legs.

The first light of the morning keeps them warm and envelopes the room in an orange glow while the summer breeze cools their heated skin. It's quiet, save for their soft breaths, as they drift back to welcome sleep.

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