.: promise :.

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"I love you more than pro-bending."

"I love you more than lychee juice."

Mako turns his head towards the right, staring into Korra's eyes while watching her face break out into a smile. He moves his arm from under her head - Hey! I was laying on that. - and places his chin in his palm; the pillow underneath him creasing from the weight of his elbow.

"But lychee juice is nasty." Korra makes a small affronted 'hmph' sound. She pushes her body closer into his, sliding her hands over his broad shoulders.

"Excuse you, I happen to like lychee juice. Thank you very much." Mako rolls his eyes and lowers his arm back into it's place behind her head. They're laying next to each other face to face, Korra can almost reach out and touch his lips to hers with a small shift of her head. "Okay. It's your turn again."

"I love you more than..." Mako trails off then shifts to stare at the ceiling, closing his eyes and breathing out a sigh. "I love you more than my parents."

He hears Korra's breath hitch in her throat slightly before he can feel the bed rustling beside him. Mako opens one eye when he feels her index finger stroke the side of his face. The look in her eyes is not one that he can describe with words. Just a feeling of falling and freedom and something that makes his chest warmer than swallowing fire flakes during the summer solstice.

Korra presses her face into the space between his neck and shoulder as he drapes an arm around the small of her back, molding her body into his.

"I think I love you more than being the Avatar." She whispers into his skin causing a sharp, something more than a shiver to race down his spine.

"I mean it." She says after a brief silence washes over them. "I've always just been Avatar Korra to everyone, all my life. I love Tenzin and Master Katara, more than words can say. But would I know them if I was just another water-tribe girl? If I was just Korra..."

Korra pulls back and cups his face in her hands, caressing his cheek with her thumb, "You and Bo are the first people I've met, who know me as Korra first and Avatar second. I can't tell you how much that means to me."

Mako takes her wrist in his hand and kisses, staring into her blue eyes. They're at a standstill, drowing in each other before Mako laces his fingers through hers and takes her lips as his own.

Mako's kisses are always so warm, Korra thinks as her eyelids flutter shut. She feels the world melt away around them, transporting them to a paradise that exists only for them. He opens his mouth to her and she can see winds whistling through blue skies, a small lake too. He moves his lips to her neck and she feels the fresh soil beneath her feet. When he opens his eyes and connects with her that's when she see the fire.

It happens quickly. Between desperate kisses and soft moans. Soon it's just skin on skin and she can feel his arousal pressing into her thigh. Mako's elbows fall into place beside her head as she blinks up to him. His eyes are clenched shut while his fingers are slipping through her soft tendrils. He's hesitating.

"What wrong?" Korra sits up a bit and runs a reassuring hand through his hair.

"I want-. I ju.-" He stops again shakes his head and takes a breath. "I just don't want this to be something you regret. You mean a lot to me. And-. And I don't want to mess it up. I have a tendency for doing that."

"Mako, look at me." Korra grips his chin and moves his face towards hers, sliding her lips past his slowly. "I love you. So much that it kinda scares me sometimes. You can be really intimidating when you want to be." He can hear the teasing in her tone and chuckles shakily. "And you love me right?" He nods.

"Then it's settled. I have no regrets. There's no one I would rather be here with. I want you, that's all."

Mako kisses her fiercely, pouring his every emotion into her and she bares it because this is what love means. To bear each others burdens and to carry them if they needed it. She would carry him. She was strong enough.

Korra moans suddenly, feeling his fingers hover over the waistband of her cotton underwear - the pink ones with the bow on them that made her feel childish. He slips them down her legs which are shaking with nervousness.

"Relax." His breath is soft by her ear and it calms her slightly.

She wants to know every inch of his body, study every curve as he pushes into her welcoming heat, edging through the final barrier that separates them. Crying out for him, her pleas dissolving into the air around her - smoke falling through the tips of her fingers.

He slams into her hard and fast, thrusting with the practiced precision she's come to know him for. His lips are ghosting over the skin of her collarbone - pushing himself deeper into her; leaving soft languid kisses to counteract his hips stuttering into her at a brutal pace.

He's beautiful here, dappled in the orange glow from the flickering streetlight hung across the street. His Adam's apple bobbing as he swallows down hard, jaw slack with a moan caught in his throat and his eyes are blown; amber fading into black.

Korra feels herself getting wetter under the strain of his deep thrusts into her. Her toes are curled, her body arches off the bed, her hands start to grip the sheets underneath her and she screams - loud - throwing her head back onto the pillow for good measure.

Mako nudges his face into her shoulder tracing the small vein in her neck with his tongue, tasting the salty skin there as he slams her hips back down, digging his fingers into her skin, keeping her steady for each one of his harsh and deep thrusts.

Korra wraps her arms around his body, gripping onto him for dear life and hears herself desperately crying out some variation of, 'oh spirits yes, please don't stop.'

Korra screams again as his hips start stammering into her at a frenzied pace. She's fighting to grasp a hold of her breath as a weightlessness washes over her and she feels alight with the lighting rushing through her veins.

An orgasm rips trough her and she feels herself judder around his length, milking him to completion. He grips hard enough to bruise, his hips slamming between her thighs as he runs one hand up the side of her body to stroke her face. He stares into her and whisperers a broken, 'I love you,' as he collapses onto her while trying to catch his breath.

Korra places light kisses all over his face and he rests his head in between the valley of her breasts.

"Promise me something?" Mako gets out between grasping for air. He nuzzles his face into her and she wraps her arms around to hold his head closer.

"Anything." She says without hesitation, because she means it.

"Promise me we won't ever lose this feeling." Mako sounds unsure, insecurity edging its way into the inflection of his voice. His hands are tracing nonsensical patterns up and down the curve of her side.

Korra has never belonged to anyone, not really. Yes, she was of the world and she would never truly be her own but this - this was different. She wants to trust him to hold her heart in his hands because that's what he's doing, giving her free reign on his heart that's he's kept in a cage his entire life.

She's never seen him so fragile and vulnerable and uncontrolled. Korra knows what Mako's control means to him, she looks into his eyes and sees a boy aching for affection. To finally be taken care of. She feels tears stinging behind her eyes when she nods slowly at first, then faster making her hair fly as tears flow freely down her face.

"I promise."

He embraces her, his shoulders shaking and his eyes clench shut as he tries to push back a broken sob. They hold each other tight throughout the night. Korra kisses his face over and over to assure him that she will never leave him and Mako cries into her chest.

You're stuck with me, City Boy. You promise. Yeah, I do.