a feelings explosion
The first thing I saw when I stopped opposite to Danny was the man's body on the ground in front of him, the second the explosives strapped to his chest, and the third that damn red dot, shining on Danny's chest. My blood froze in my veins and I looked up at him. Danny had already figured it out, even if he asked me what the hell was that stuff. From that moment on, everything went on as in a movie. My training took over and I thought I could see everything outside of myself. My voice was calm when I spoke to him and invited him to continue the story that he began when we were in the car. Danny stared at me at first and then began to speak. The confidence that I read in his eyes almost made me shake my legs and I knelt in front of him. There was a moment when it seemed that everything could end. Danny begged me to get away and get to safety, to be able to take care of Grace if anything irreparable happened to him, but I said no. How could I leave him even if there was the slightest chance that the bomb could exploded? He would be dead and what would I do? I would have to spend the rest of my life without him? Absolutely not. It was a guess that I couldn't even consider.
Then the bomb disposal expert told us that it was all over and the relief I felt was indescribable. Suddenly the tension left me and my eyes filled with tears. Danny, folded in on itself, tried to joke saying that he would like to offer me a beer, but when he looked up at me he was speechless and came to me, hugging me.
I felt his body, full of life, against me, and that feeling was so powerful that I had to laugh and cry at the same time. I held him and I realized that he also was laughing and crying like me.
H50 – H50 – H50
"Finished? Can I move? "
And Danny finally lowered his arms, which now weighed a ton, and leaned forward, hands on his knees. At these words, Steve was finally able to begin to breathe freely, while a myriad of emotions threatened to overwhelm him and his eyes suddenly moist and when Danny grabbed him in a liberating hug he squeezed them. What came out of their throats was a mixture of tears and laughter, then Danny pulled away from him and "I must go" he said, patting him on the shoulder and walking away quickly.
Steve watched him walk away with a mixture of happiness and despair in his eyes.
H50 – H50 – H50
Around him other fathers with their daughters danced in a slow music, while he held Grace. Every now and then he smiled at her and the girl reciprocated, even though she realized that her dad had his head elsewhere. The music changed and the dance became faster. Grace was happy to see him smile a little more openly.
He was smiling, but his mind was elsewhere. He kept thinking about all that had happened that never ending day. About all that he had told Steve, Steve's face as he listened. Steve, who had been there all the time, at his side, next to him and the bomb that could have burst at any moment. "You have to staycompletely still" Steve had told him. It was not at all easy, not just for him that he could not sit still. But he had succeeded. Because he wouldn't die, he didn't want to leave his Grace, and especially he didn't want anything happen to Steve. Every time he had stared into his eyes, what he had read was able to keep him there, focused on the moment, to stand as still as possible. There was a moment when he thought he wouldn't make it and that's why he asked once again to leave him and take care of Grace. But he hadn't left. And finally the bomb was defused. He would never forget Steve's look on him. Those moist eyes. He didn't more need to be strong and he let go when Danny was finally rescued. No, that look would remain forever etched in his mind.
H50 – H50 – H50
Lying on the couch in the dark, Steve tried not to think about everything that had happened that day, but it was virtually impossible. Every detail continued to spin on his head, as in an endless loop. Danny could die if the bomb had exploded. He wanted him to go away but Steve couldn't get out of there. Besides, if there had been an explosion and Danny was dead, he wouldn't know how to go on without him. But it hadn't happened, things had ended well. He forced himself to calm down, taking deep breaths but all in vain. Abruptly he began first sit down and then stood up, remaining motionless for a moment, in the center of the room. Then, almost ran up the stairs, walked into his room and undressed quickly. He put on a swimsuit and went out on the beach behind the house. He ran to the surf and dived, heedless of the fact that the waves were increased in intensity than in the afternoon and raindrops were also beginning to fall.
He moved away from the shore with powerful strokes and stopped only when he was almost out of breath, trying to float on his back. It was almost impossible, because it was slammed from side to side and couldn't sit still. For this reason he decided to go back. When it was almost on shore he saw a figure under an umbrella, motionless, on the beach. He would have recognized him even in the dark.
When he finally managed to place his feet on the bottom, he was totally out of breath and was bent, his hands on his knees, mimicking Danny's posture of that afternoon.
"Have you decided that was not enough danger for today?Are you crazy to go out to swim with a time and a sea like that?" Danny shouted to be heard above the noise of the waves and the thunder that had begun to lash out.
The rain had increased in intensity. Steve did not answer him and began to shiver, battered by gusts of wind.
"Come on, let's go back inside" said Danny throwing him a towel.
Steve put it on his shoulders and, together, they returned home. He climbed the stairs quickly, ending up to dry and put on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt before going back downstairs.
Danny stood in the middle of the room.
"What are you doing here Danny? Are you okay?" asked Steve and his face expression went from curiosity to concern in one nanosecond "you look like you've cried ... ".
"Yeah ..." Danny nodded, his hands in the pockets of his pants "was a tough day. Or a week? What kind of day is it anyway?".
Danny, in some way, tried to smile. His heart was beating so hard that for a moment, he thought that Steve could hear him.
"How do I know?" said Steve, smiling back and turned to go into the kitchen to get a drink.
When he returned and handed him a beer, Danny moved next to him, a shoulder to touch Steve's chest as Steve moved. He had to make an effort to avoid turning completely to him and touch him. He sat on the couch, then pointing to Steve to sit beside him.
Steve sat down and then leaned forward, resting his elbows on his legs, beer untouched in his hands.
"How was the dance?" He asked, turning his head towards him.
Danny couldn't help but feel overwhelmed by the presence of Steve right there, so close. The day had turned him inside out like a sock and, suddenly, he realized what were his priorities. For the first time in a long time he really knew what he wanted.
"The dance? Well, Grace had fun and I really dance if you really want to know" he was silent and didn't take his eyes off him, staring at his face and reviewing everything that had happened that day. After what seemed an eternity he continued.
"Steve... you know ...what you did for me today?".
"I have done nothing Danny ..." he murmured.
"Nothing? You could go and you stayed... ".
Steve stared at him and all he felt was there, in his eyes.
"No ...I couldn't leave. You were there and the only thing I could do was just stay with you".
Danny moved imperceptibly toward him.
"Do you have any idea how much I miss you when you aren't near me? How I feel miserable when we are away even for a short time? When firsty ou didn't open the door...I was panicking...I should have known you were going to swim also with a time like that and then it wass uch a relief to see you came back to the shore, as if I was holding my breath all the time without even knowing it" and he raised a hand to caress his face.
Steve seemed paralyzed and both remained motionless, staring at each other, then he jumped up to his feet, his back to him.
"I ...I don't know what to say ..." he murmured.
Even Danny stood up, closing the distance between them. He had to tell him, he couldn't avoid it, damn the consequences. Continue to pretend nothing has happened was harassing him.
"Tell me you want this" with his hand pointed first to himself and then to Steve "tell me you want me".
Steve was turned toward him, his eyes huge, lost and confused, as he took a deep breath.
"Are you serious?".
"After all that has happened today... I think I have never been more serious in my life" Danny smiled.
Steve's eyes softened, moistening and then he suddenly took a step back, the body language on the defensive.
"You know me Danny ...I'm not like the others ...I cannot be like the others. I don't want to replace anyone ...You know that".
"I don't want you to replace anyone" Danny muttered, shaking his head and putting his hands on Steve's face "I know you're not like the others... I don't want you to be like the others. You are you... and I want you, exactly as you are".
"Don't play with me,Danny" Steve hissed, backing away.
"I'm not doing it" Danny's eyes were still while pushing Steve against the wall "I'm not playing with you. All I want is this".
He brought his lips to his and kissed him softly.
When they parted they were both trembling slightly, with their foreheads touching. They were silent for a while, breathing in each other's mouth and then Steve hugged him.
"You're so full of passion for everything Danny. You feel so much .And you have this heart, so wonderful and honest, and every time we speak, every time we touch...I don't know how to explain it, but I see you...and... I feel you... and that's why I ... "
Danny and the words they were one, he was famous for his devastating monologues, but at that moment he seemed to have lost the use, listening to Steve.
"What Steve?" he only managed to articulate.
Steve swallowed and, parting from him, he put his open hand against Danny's chest, his fingers pressed lightly against his skin at the point where Danny's heart was beating furiously.
"I'm in love with you" he whispered "it's you Danny. Only you".
Danny was shaking and even breathing became difficult.
"So ...that means... you're with me in this?" and his voice broke.
"Yes Danny, I'm with you" he said brushing his lips again.
Danny closed his eyes and when he opened them, almost struggled to see Steve's face because of the tears that moistened them.
"I love you Steve" he murmured with all his heart "I love you so much that I cannot even explain it".
"Yes, I know the feeling" Steve gasped, choking back a sob, and wrapped his arms around Danny and dragged him back on the couch.
They stood embraced, without speaking, both conscious and still so shaken by what might happen that day. They could get completely lost, but it wasn't successful. That was their chance and they exploited it.
And the noise of the storm was the only thing that broke the comforting silence of the house.