Maya drives them home after they say goodbye to their friends. Once they reach the apartment and the door is shut securely hands are on each other, clothes were discarded as they made their way to the bed. There would be no rushed floor sex this time.
It’s after a few emotional rounds of celebratory love making that they take a break to just relax and calm down.
Maya is laying on her side and is just watching Carina. Carina looks up at the ceiling. “What are you thinking?” Maya is the first one to speak.
“I’ve told you before that you shouldn’t be threatened by Gabriella.” Carina says. It’s the one thing from their fight that keeps sticking in her mind.
Maya sighs. This again. She knows she shouldn’t have brought Gabriella up; but she just went to that place. She’s not proud of it. “I know.”
It’s not the apology that Carina wants but she’s hopeful that Maya will get to that.
They lay in comfortable silence for a while. Just gazing at each other and exchange soft touches, soft kisses.
“Not that I’m complaining but what made you change your mind? What made you come back?” Maya never thought that she would be seeing Carina again this day after she left for the airport, let alone find themselves where they are. Needless to say, it’s been a crazy day.
Carina hums. “You know I never got to the airport.”
“No, but you were on your way.” Maya brings up the reality of it all.
“I was.” Carina smirks.
“In the car, I was on the phone with Gabriella.”
Maya rolls her eyes and chuckles. “Of course.” She looks away from Carina. She just needs a minute. She always gets jealous of Gabriella. The thought that Carina called Gabriella right after they fought irks her.
“Maya.” She gets the blondes attention.
Maya looks back at her future wife. She smiles thinking that Carina is going to be her wife very shortly. They haven’t even talked about that yet but just the thought makes Maya so happy.
“It was Gabriella.”
Maya wrinkles her brow. So much for the happy thoughts. “What was?” She feels like she missed something. Was she zoned out and Carina said something that she missed?
“She’s the one who convinced me. Well, not convinced me but she made me see what was happening. She made me see what I was doing. What I was giving up.”
“Oh.” Maya is a bit surprised by this. “Really?”
Carina chuckles. “Yeah.”
“Amore, I didn’t want to get married. But not because of you or about you. It’s because of what the institution of marriage stands for in society. We talked about this.” Carina sighs. She doesn’t really want to go over this fight again. It’s still raw and painful.
“It’s not that I don’t want to marry you. Maya, you are everything to me. In my mind, we are already married. Me and you, together, always. And for the government or society to have a say in that- There’s not one right way to do things.”
“It’s the conventional way.” Maya mumbles.
Carina giggles. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed-“ She motions between their naked bodies. “We’re not conventional, as they would say.”
Maya sighs and closes her eyes. “Right. But it’s different.” She opens her eyes again and looks at Carina, resting her palm on her cheek.
“What is, bambina?”
“It’ll be different. Our marriage. Cuz it’ll be ours.” Maya whispers.
“It’s just ours.” Carina smiles and leans in for a kiss. She thinks for a moment that Maya might be one hundred percent correct. Their marriage can and will be different. Because it is just theirs.
They kiss for a while.
“Does this mean I don’t get to be jealous about Gabriella anymore?” Maya laughs lighthearted.
“No, it means you should call her and thank her.” Carina mumbles before kissing Maya again.
Maya giggles into the kiss. “Do I have to do it right now?”
“No, we are busy.” She kisses Maya again, shutting her up. But only for a minute or so.
Maya wiggles away from Carina’s lips. “I think I should. I need to thank her. You are right. Cuz that sex we just had.” Maya rolls her head back, closes her eyes. “Mind blowing.”
Maya gets serious again. “I feel like I need to thank you too.”
Carina raises an eyebrow at her.
“For coming back. I don’t know what I would’ve done if you left and I never saw you again. Probably be depressed for the rest of my life.”
“Oh, Maya.” Carina caresses Maya’s face in her hands.
“I know. Way to kill the mood. But I know that there’s a lot we have to talk about. All that happened. And all the wedding stuff. And what we are going to do now. And what you are going to do about work. But even with all that I feel like the luckiest person on the planet. Today was a lot. A lot, a lot. And that will take some time to process.”
Maya has more to say but she just stops for a moment and admires the woman laying with her in bed. “Carina. You’re it. And as crazy and as scary as that is to say, it’s true. I don’t want anyone else. I don’t need anyone else. Just you.” Maya can feel the tears forming in her eyes, but she lets them, doesn’t shy away from them. “I love you so much. I was serious when I said I didn’t know what I would do without you. It’s become my greatest fear in life. Losing you. And I almost lost you again today. That’s twice now. And I don’t want it to ever happen again. I know you aren’t crazy about the institution of marriage. And to be fair, I’m not thrilled about it either all the time. But I feel like it’s something we can do to strengthen our relationship. To make sure that no one, no outside force can tear us apart. At the end of the day, it’s just a piece of paper, a document but I still feel like it’s important.” She knows a few tears have made there way from her eyes down her cheeks. “Because you are important, and we are important. So, I know you aren’t crazy about it, but that’s how I feel.”
Carina looks at Maya for a moment. She wipes the tears from her cheeks before leaning in to peck her lips softly. “No, I’m not crazy about it, but I am crazy about you. Ti amo, Maya. Ti amo. They say love makes you crazy. And they are right. I’m getting married. Something I never thought I would do. Because I am so deeply, thoroughly in love with you. And I do want to spend the rest of my life with you. But I would have happily done that without getting married as well. Gabriella was right. She said she’s never seen me so happy. Like deep down happy. Even in my grief, even with all the crap that’s happened this year, I’m still so very happy and that’s because of you.”
“I’m sorry for throwing her in your face. That was wrong and I didn’t mean it.”
Carina sighs. There’s the apology that she wanted. “And I’m sorry for the horrible things I said as well. You know I didn’t mean them.”
“I know. I was just so scared. I was so afraid that you were going to leave. There was no determined return date. I just thought what if weeks turn into months and then more months and then a year or forever. I just- I just-“ Maya shivers. She just can’t shake that feeling. “I guess part of me is still scared that that’s going to happen. That you are going to leave and never come back. I think that fear fueled all my irrational emotions. And I went to that yelling place. And I hate that because it reminds me of my father. And I don’t want to be like him.”
“I know, bambina.” Carina kisses Maya’s forehead. “You’re not like him.”
Maya laughs, cynically. “You don’t know that. You’ve never met him.”
“No.” Carina raises an eyebrow. “But I’ve met you. From everything you’ve told me about him I just know that you are not like him. You make a conscious, most of the time, effort to be not like him.”
Maya sighs. She rolls her eyes, but she knows there’s some truth to Carina’s words. “Should we tell my parents that we are getting married?”
Carina hums. She thinks about it for a moment. She thinks about her mother and her father. And her poor brother. None of them will get to see or hear about her wedding day. Even if she wanted to tell them. “That’s up to you. Do you want them to be there?”
“Not really.” Maya grimaces. “Is that terrible to say?”
“Not at all.” Carina starts stroking her fingertips up and down maya’s arm. “Family can be complicated. Are complicated. I think we both are very well versed in complicated relationships with our families. So if you don’t want them there, that’s perfectly fine. You should have the people there that you want to be there, not the ones that you feel are obligated to be there.”
“He’ll just make a scene at some point. And my mother will cower in the corner as he does. I don’t know why she went back to him. I don’t know why she doesn’t just stand up to him.” Maya gets agitated thinking about it.
“Some people aren’t as strong as you are.” Carina rubs the back of her index finger along Maya’s jawline. “Some people are wired differently. Plus, there’s trauma that’s involved. It’s not always so easy.”
Maya sighs. “I know. I know it’s not. It’s just-“
“Frustrating.” Carina finishes her sentence.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about them either. I just- you’ve had so much going on. I didn’t want to add another thing to your list of things to worry about. Another burden.”
Carina’s rests her hand on Maya’s cheek. “Your family’s issues are not burdens to me. Your problems are my problems. I’ll always be here to help and support in whatever way I can.”
“God, you’re amazing. How did I get so lucky?” Maya sighs happily and closes her eyes. She hums when a pair of lips connect with her own.
“I’m the lucky one. Not many people want or can handle a crazy Italian.”
“You’re not crazy. I love all of your Italianisms. Okay, so maybe I wasn’t the biggest fan of when you moved in and our kitchen was like little Italy for a while, but I get why it was like that. You needed that at the time.”
“I toned it down now.”
“You have but- if you wanted to totally have the kitchen be a version of Italy then I’m fine with it. Just not every room of the apartment, okay.” Maya jokes. “Especially if you make me all that yummy Italian food.”
“Is that the only reason you are with me? So I cook you Italian food.”
Maya shakes her head. “It’s just a lovely bonus. Your lasagna is the best.”
“It’s my mamma’s recipe. You always liked it. From the beginning.”
“I don’t know if you were just trying to butter me up or impress me or what. But bringing lasagna to my office definitely worked.”
Carina smirks. “I think a little part of me was trying to impress you. Or just another form of flirting with you.”
“I love all your forms.” Maya rolls over, on top of Carina. Carina laughs and Maya’s face hovers over hers for a moment. Their eyes meeting, twinkling before Maya closes the small amount of distance between them. “I love all of you.” Maya whispers against her lips.
Carina curls her toes as Maya’s lips move from her lips to her cheek to the spot on her neck just below her ear. The weak spot that Maya knows how to exploit and gets the most delicious moans out of Carina. “Mmmmm, Maya.” Just like that.
Maya smirks against the skin. She pulls away and sits back on her heels.
“Why’d you stop?” Carina nearly whines.
“Because I just had to get a look at you.” Maya’s lips lift into a smile on one side. “You are the most stunning woman on the planet.”
Carina swats a hand at Maya’s arm. “Oh, stop.”
“I’m serious. Absolutely gorgeous.”
Carina reaches up and puts her hand on the back of Maya’s neck. “Vieni qui e baciami.”
Maya obliges and leans down again for a long slow kiss.