The space between them was growing, and it felt like a slow, harsh, death that would never really punctuate with a last breath. There was no way what he felt for Shawn would ever die, that river ran too deep, the canyon it etched in his heart more mighty than the grandest of earthly landscapes. To Paul, his life had never begun, it had never meant anything. Until Shawn touched his heart, it had never thrived. His hand came to rest softly on his chest, his fingers humming with the pulse beneath his sternum, a stead throb that ached for the man he loved.

Sighing, he bent to unlace his boots, peel them away, and put Triple H in his gym bag until the next show. He showered but barely felt the cool water tracing down his body, his mind was so far away he didn't know how long he had stood there with the shampoo poised in his hand, squeezing it onto the floor. After the useless cleansing he trudged out of the shower and half-heartedly rubbed the towel over his dripping body. He stepped into his jeans and tugged his t-shirt over his head, shaking his hair out like a dog.

Shawn pressed his hand to the door, warring with his heart. As moments crawled slowly by he closed his eyes and offered a silent prayer for guidance, for strength. When he opened his eyes they leaked from the corners, twin drops rolling down the sides of his face and catching on his stubble. With a rattled breath pushed slowly from his chest he pushed the door open silently. His hands slid away from the wood grain leaving it slimy with clammy, nervous sweat. From where Shawn stood guarded in the shadows he could see Paul running a comb through his sun lit tresses. Soft, clean, and longing to be caressed the strands fell around his face softening his prominent, chiseled features. Shawn drank them in as a parched man savors his last bit of water, knowing all too painfully that those are his last precious droplets, that they are merely fleeting moments and that for the rest of his arduous journey his thirst will have to remain unquenched.

Shawn stepped out of the shadows, his lip quivering as he started to feel already the cracking of his heart. It was going to be hell to say goodbye to Paul his lover, and he was losing his courage to do so. He had thought about this so much, and there was no easy way out. Just letting their love dry up, ignoring what was there, pretending it never happened, was out of the question. He had to be fair to Paul and at least explain why. Swallowing hard he steadied his will and moved towards Paul. For a moment, Shawn's fingers twitched at his side. He finally dragged them across his jeans to wipe away the cold slime of his nerves, and reached towards Paul's shoulder readying to rest his hand there softly.

Paul turned hearing the brush of fabric and startled when he saw Shawn, the person his thoughts had been consumed with. He dropped his comb but barely noticed as it clattered to the floor.

"Jesus!" Paul hissed, backing up against the lockers and letting out a puff of breath. "You—you scared me."

Shawn cast his eyes to his boots and dragged the toe of his shoe over a few scarred tiles.

"Um, Paul we need to talk." His baby blues rose from ground level and connected with Paul's. When the taller man saw the eyes of his love swimming beneath a salty sheen his heart sank. He had heard rumors of Shawn's change, and he feared that Shawn's new found beliefs were going to shatter their relationship.

"We need to talk about us." Shawn said, more pointedly.

"Shawn, not here. Please…I-I don't want it to end in some shitty locker room." Not here, not with the musty scent of sweat and mold, not here with the drab tiles and dirty mirrors, not in this emptiness, not in some place forgotten by the world.

Shawn moved forward, each step felt like walking through glue, and when he was toe to toe with Paul he thought his will might break for good. He took the younger mans hands in his feeling the familiar creases and curves, the way their fingers interlocked perfectly. Shawn was starting to tremble and took a deep breath to try to calm himself, but all he got was the scent of Paul Levesque, and the hint of his cologne. For a moment his mind was too clouded to think.

"Shawn, baby?" Paul grasped his hands tighter, reminding them both of their bond. Shawn's eyes fluttered back to sight and he nodded his head barely as he considered Paul's request.

"Okay." Shawn answered with a voice rough from emotion. "We'll go back to the hotel."

The ride back to the hotel was deathly silent. Paul fumbled with the radio knob to break the tension but Shawn switched it off and sank into his seat, distracting himself by pushing the window button and watching the glass slide up and down. Paul was too bothered by the impending doom to notice the annoyance of the window—whiiiir down…whiiiir up---and he was lucky to even be aware enough to stop when a light turned red. His fingers blanched white as they bit into the steering wheel and when the light changed green the car lurched forward with a few premature spurts, as though he was sixteen and just learning to drive again.

They finally arrived at the hotel and Paul reluctantly picked up the room key from the front desk. They made their way down a hallway and Paul frowned when he stood outside the door and heard noises inside. He looked down at his keycard and blushed seeing the stress of the situation had caused him to confuse the numbers. He and Shawn made their way to the correct room—251 not 215. He cursed as he tried to jam the card into the slot and failed because his hands were shaking too badly. Shawn touched his shoulder and slipped the card from his hands and tried himself, although his nerves were not much better he was able to get the door to unlock after a couple tries. With twin sighs of relief the two men went inside. Paul dragged himself over to the bed and sat down holding his head in his hands, and Shawn shut the door quietly behind them.

Shawn made his way to Paul and sat next to him, gently rubbing his knotted shoulders.

"God Shawn, I'm sorry I'm being so fucking selfish!" Paul blurted out, his voice wobbling. "I know you've found your way out of your troubles, I know you've changed. I know that finding God or whatever you want to call it—I know how much it means to you. I can see it in your face, I can see it in the way you smile now…something has changed so deep inside of you. You've became a better man for it. I should be glad for you." Paul struggled to swallow back his tears.

"Paul, you're not being selfish. I-I still love you, but I can't. I can't love you in that way." Shawn's fingers gave Paul's shoulder one last squeeze before they disappeared for a moment, helpless and mindless to keep themselves out of trouble, they drifted through his hair touching what would soon be nothing more than a memory. "It's a sin." Shawn whispered tearfully.

As Shawn's fingertips brushed past his ear a shiver tingled down Paul's spine and through the biological wires that spidered away from it, sending the ticklish, maddening feeling to the end of every nerve. He buried his face in his hands and filled his palms with the rain of his sorrow. His partner—ex partner—slumped next to him weighed down with the weight of the pain he was causing to a man he loved so much. Why, why is it so wrong? I wish I could know, but I can't question. You've told me in plain words, even someone as simple as me can understand: It is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.. Who am I to question Your word? He tilted his head downward, praying again for strength, for guidance, praying for Paul to please stop crying because every soft sob and sniffle was like the blade of a knife piercing his heart, cutting a piece of it away.

"It'll be okay." Shawn spoke softly, his half-hearted promise lilted by the emotion that clogged his throat and ran down his face in silent rivers. "You have Ste--"

Shawn startled, his wet eyes widening when Paul slid from the bed and fell to his knees as though before an alter. He wrestled with Shawn's hands which wanted to flee his grasp but at last he held them, both united with the salt of spent tears.

"P-please Shawn, please." Paul begged, his words barely discernable, bent and distorted with grief.

"I-I can't!" Shawn wailed, his slender shoulders quaking.

"Ju-ust let me be selfish this once, le-let me get my way tonight." Shawn tried to slide his hands away but Paul squeezed tighter holding them firmly in place. He brought his bowed head up slowly, his face was flooded with tears, the tiny beads leaked freely from tortured eyes and they clung to the hairs of his beard and mustache and dripped from the tip of his nose. Shawn had never seen anything so heartbreaking and he couldn't stop his actions. He pulled his hands free and cupped Paul's face tipping it up and bringing his own to meet Paul's nose to nose—he could go no further.

"Shawn…please…one last time. Let me be your sin one last time." The whisper was so breathy Shawn was not sure if he had heard it or imagined it. It might have not been Paul but the voice of the Tempter urging Shawn to his downfall, nudging him from his new life as a Christian back to his old ways, when Shawn had tried to run his life on his own and brought himself to ruin.

Thou shall take from any tree in the garden, but that which bears the knowledge of good and evil, lest ye shall surely die.

"Just…just a kiss." Shawn whimpered, but it was cut short with Paul's wet, salty lips taking his and caressing them so perfectly. It was as though that moment paused, the world stopped to witness the purest love ever shared between two beating hearts. How could something so beautiful be such a transgression in the eyes of the Almighty?

Shawn wrapped his hands gently around Paul's neck, burying them in the warmth of his hair, and nudging him closer. He pressed Paul's lips apart and ran his tongue lovingly over the delicate petals before sliding it in to the warm heat of his mouth. Their tongues danced; two forbidden lovers undulating in the throws of passion, their song a chorus of needful, sighs and moans.

Paul's fingers found Shawn's fly and slid the button free, the zipper followed soon after and Shawn wiggled restlessly, needing so much to feel Paul's hands loving him. Soon enough he felt Paul's hand close around his shaft and drift slowly up and down the stiffening length. Every moment had to be savored, Paul stored away in his mind each groan and whimper, and the way his touch made Shawn twitch and harden.

Shawn pushed against Paul's shoulders wanting to break away from the act, more for the need to breathe than anything else. As much as he knew it was wrong he couldn't stop now. Their lips parted with a mutual smack and both dragged in much need air. Shawn squeezed his eyes closed tight, trying to fight off the sensations that bid him go on, trying to fight against the convictions that told him to stop.

"Oh Paul, no Paul just—just a kiss!" Shawn panted. "Paul, just a—oh God!"

The kiss was not on his lips, but pressed to the head of his burning desire, and he knew any resistance he had in him had perished. He tried to utter some sort of plea, a prayer, but it fell broken on its way to intercession.

"Save me!" Shawn wailed as Paul's lips wrapped around him and took him deeper into the blissful wetness. Paul purred with happiness as he tasted Shawn against his tongue, the tip hit the back of his throat when Shawn arched into him, reacting with a loud cry to the pleasurable vibrations.

Paul pulled back quickly and with a soft 'pop' released his mouthful.

"Not yet baby." Paul panted, the hot breath puffed against Shawn's tip making him chew his lips and grind his teeth. "We have to make this last."

Shawn nodded and pulled Paul on top of his half-naked body. Shawn quickly rid the younger man of his t-shirt followed by jeans and briefs. Paul was already hard and Shawn's stroking drove him towards the brink quicker than he wanted to. Paul couldn't help but cry the whole time, his tears rained down onto Shawn's face, and the older man couldn't help but feel as though he were being baptized with love. Forgive us our trespasses.

Paul rolled them both over so Shawn was on top of him.

"Paul…I don't know if I can…" Shawn swallowed hard looking down into the eyes of his lover.

"Listen to your heart." Paul trailed his fingers over Shawn's chest. Poor Shawn's face writhed with indecision. He started to cry fresh tears and they dappled Paul's stomach as they fell. "I want you to do what's right."

"My heart is only human. It doesn't know what's right." Shawn chewed his lips harder, making them bleed.

"Then Shawn, tell me no." Paul gripped Shawn's shoulders and held his gaze with conviction. "I love you Shawn Hickenbottom, and if you want to stop this…" Paul paused to still his voice. "If you want to stop this then it's done. You mean so much more to me than you'll ever know. I don't ever want to hurt you. Just tell me no."

Shawn shook his head ferociously back and forth.

"No." He answered, his voice raw and ragged. "No, I can't stop now. I won't."

Shawn worked his way into Paul and soon the rhythms of their bodies united, in sync they moved to the raging passion of their love, their last love, though the embers burned stronger than ever. Bodies slid against bodies, fingers met hair as soft and golden as angel mane, lips crashed against lips, wishing the intercourse would last for a heavenly eternity. Excitement raged and boiled over, rocking movements became more animalistic, moans became guttural growls, and fingers dug into skin like claws.

Hang on, just a little longer!

Shawn felt Paul tear under the power of his thrusts. He knew a crimson stain was blooming against the fabric beneath them. Shawn, what are you doing?

This is my body, broken for you. This is my blood, shed for you.

Shawn could hear two voices saying those things and his name--his name was being called again and again, one voice from above, the other from below. With one last shout of his name, Paul came against Shawn's chest. Shawn pulled out before his own climax prevailed. He looked at the mess between his legs, Paul's blood covered him, and he broke down crying.

"Shawn, it's okay." Paul held the smaller man in his arms, rocking him back and forth.

"Stroke me." Shawn whispered against Paul's ear. "Please Paul, finish it."

Moment's later Shawn came, the greatest joy and sorrow he had ever felt washed over him. He fell back between Paul's legs, looking over the young man. Paul's hair hung sweaty and tangled in his face, his brow rand with sweat, his eyes with tears the glistened in his thin beard. His chest heaved up and down as he struggled to catch his breath and contain his emotions. But what got Shawn the deepest was how Paul was laid back on the pillows, his arms spread outwards, his hands coated with seed and blood. He looked as though he was being crucified, the sacrificial lamb, the innocent damned to suffering at the hands of the sinner.

"It's finished." Paul whispered, he closed his eyes, and opened them again fighting the urge to sleep. Maybe if he woke up Shawn would still be there, but that was the hope of a fool.

"Paul, I love you." Shawn slid from the bed, wiping his tears against the back of his hand. "But there's someone else I love more. I have to go."

Shawn made it back to his room, a disheveled wreck of emotions and heartache. He opened his suitcase and dumped the contents to the floor, he fished through the debris with quivering hands until he found what he needed.

He picked the leather book up and ran his wet eyes over the embossed words on the cover. Dropping to his knees he opened it and bowed over it. His fingertips brushed over the tissue thin pages and pulled away the object that had marked his place between the Old Testament and The New, a photo of Paul.

Shawn wept.

He clasped his hands tightly and tried to weather through the pain that rocked him, it was a pain beyond any description. He prayed. He prayed for his heart, and he begged pardon for the bond he had broken…with Paul or with Christ?

Forgive me my King of Kings…forgive me.

I am a sinner.

Please let me know what you think. :) Sorry it's so damn sad. It was tough for me to use all the Christian imagery though. I kind of scared myself with the intensity in this. Anywho I hope it conveys everything I wanted it too. Now, go read fluff!!! It's mandatory after this, lol.