[P] [M] Sujétame fuerte
[p. Paloma]
#1

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: .

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Cidro Amato de la Peña
Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun
Optime | September 20th | Cidro’s room
this physically pained me to write ;-;
WORD COUNT
534


Cidro awoke to the terrifying realization that he couldn’t even get out of bed. The dark, suffocating feeling that’d been growing over the past few weeks had complete control over him now, and it almost felt like it was shackling him to the bed.


He’d slept an hour at best, and woke up gasping hoarsely with tears in his eyes, shaking from the all-too-familiar feeling of nightmares yanking him roughly from his sleep. He shuddered pathetically, rolling on his side and curling in on himself, hyperventilating in ragged, unsteady breaths. He had no idea what day it was, or even what time. Morning, night, it didn’t matter— nothing mattered anymore. He was so tired of distracting himself with work day in and day out. So tired of the countless nightmares plaguing him every night, and the exhaustion induced hallucinations during the day. So tired of having no one to talk to, from keeping these demons to himself— of pretending he was fine. He felt useless and pathetic and broken and so very small all at once, and was suddenly hit with the sensation that he was drowning. The saddest part is that he didn’t even mind the drowning, he almost welcomed it. If he could fade into the empty black of it all, maybe he could finally be able to quiet the storm in his head.


The thought felt nice, like he had something to fall back on if he really couldn’t take it anymore. Maybe he could just slip off in the middle of the night, walk into the deep dark of the ocean or get lost in of one of the seaside caves. He hadn’t been here long, the Court could easily move on without him. It would be like he was never here. The youth gripped his temple where it was throbbing, whether from exhaustion, dehydration, malnourishment, or nightmares, he wasn’t sure. Maybe all of it. Maybe it was just his punishment for wasting everyone’s time— for becoming everything his mother feared he’d be.


It was all too much for the teen to handle. He shoved his face into his pillow, screaming at the top of his lungs, listening in horror as it trembled with each sob. He hadn’t even realized he’d been crying. He pounded the bed below him, moving his hands up to his hair and pulling roughly, feeling the sting as it came out in clumps, tangling between his fingers and falling on the sheets around him. He screamed again, but this time it fizzled into a raspy wail, and he felt his limbs go weak with it. He had so little fight left in him— he just couldn’t keep this act up any longer. He couldn’t be strong the way his mother wanted him to, the way he should be. He just wasn’t wired that way. The thought felt like he’d lost a part of himself, and he crumpled down on the covers, shaking like a frightened child and sobbing like it was the only thing he knew how to do. He’d never felt more vulnerable in his life, and he didn’t know if it made him want to end it all or fall into someone’s arms.


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#2
OOC: Me tooooo ;_; so emosh

IC:
Dawn was coming when Paloma made it back to the Court’s borders. Weedy fingers of light were reaching through a persistent drizzle which dampened her hair and made her ears pull back. She was glad to be home, though, eager to visit the stables, to see Trueno – and perhaps to give Jolie and Branwen a pat and a treat, as well. The dog’s affections were usually reserved for the dapple grey stallion she’d taken under her wing. It was Cidro who had made her see the goodness and worth in the soft and gentle mares – and Palo was keen to see the boy, too, though she wasn’t about to admit that to anybody.

There was a clenching kind of anxiety in the Rovira woman’s gut, a tingling sensation of dread. This was her first return to the Court from a long-distance trip since taking on Kalypso’s task of collecting information. The territory was quiet in a way which could easily be put down to the early hour – but images flashed in Paloma’s mind of another time she’d returned home with water falling from the sky. That time she had found her mate lifeless.

She shook her head, forcing the foreboding feeling away as she padded up the Hotel’s steps. Paloma would wake Cidro, they would go for a ride and she would tell him about the North.

That was her plan, at least – until she reached the youth’s door and her large ears caught the muffled sound of sobbing. Something in Paloma dropped like a stone breaching the surface of a pool. She turned, convinced she would leave her ward to his tricky, messy emotions. Someone would hear him and console him – Abigail, perhaps. Someone who was softer and warmer than Paloma. She cast a sidelong look down the hallway and sour guilt prickled at her throat.

Against her better judgement, Paloma pushed open the door and entered the room. She would reprimand him. She would tell him to snap out of it.

But everything Paloma would have done dissolved as she looked at the youngster she had never planned to have in her life. Of all the unplanned things, Paloma realised, Cidro was the best.

Mi hijo,” she murmured, standing awkwardly over the bed. “What is wrong?”

[389]
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#3
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Cidro Amato de la Peña
Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun
Optime | September 20th | Cidro’s room
ooPS SORRY PALO HE USED THE M WORD
WORD COUNT
415


The teen shook violently with each sob, his body weak against the covers as his mind went with it. He didn’t hear the door slide open. He didn’t hear Paloma’s hesitant footsteps or the uncertain scent that hung heavy around her. He was suffocated by the pain — something akin to grief, like he’d lost the last good part of himself — that wracked his body in violent tremors and wailing cries. There was no way he could notice anything else.


Just as he thought reality was lost to him, a painfully familiar voice broke through the screaming in his head. He slowly removed his hands from his face, looking sullen and pained and oh so young. Cidro was too weak to hide from her any longer. If she saw him like this and didn’t want him anymore, so be it. He wanted to say something, but the words just wouldn’t come. It was like his body was no longer his own. The thought made him cry harder, and it took him everything he had to calm his breathing enough to finally speak.


<“I c-can’t do it anymore—“>


The words came out shaky and foreign, choked out between hiccuping sobs. He sounded like a child, hyperventilating through his tears and crying so hard he could barely find the voice to speak. He’d slipped into his mother tongue, desperately seeking the comfort the familiarity brought. It did little to help. He closed his eyes and sniffled shamefully, feeling so, so wrong for letting Paloma see him this weak. She was the one he looked up to the most. The one who made him feel safe and warm, even when she didn’t mean to. The only one since his mother who could really ever let him feel anything. Yet here he was, sobbing like an infant. So vulnerable. So pathetic. So useless and—


He lowered his head and gripped his hair hard with his hands, pulling harshly. He wailed long and low, much like a wounded animal would. His sobs had slowed, but they were replaced with a quieter, more helpless kind of tears. He slowly turned back up to her, lip quivering and eyes wide with terror and pain. He was suddenly seven months again— lost, scared and helpless at the border of the Court, just wishing someone would hold him and tell him it would be okay. His voice was like a whisper when he spoke, so frightened and small.


<“S-something’s w-wrong with me, mamá.”>


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#4
OOC: Sorry for my slug impression D:

IC:
The youth lowered his hands from his tear-stained face. That was good, Paloma thought. It meant she didn’t have to drag them away for him. She would have done, too – she would have been rough and direct. She would have searched his eyes for answers to this sudden change (oh, Paloma had known Cidro was sensitive from the day she’d met him, but he had always been sweet and hopeful to her).

She would have done many things, all of them choices which were taken from her when she saw the pain, the despair, in her ward’s eyes. He struggled to steady his breathing enough to speak and during those moments Paloma had to remind herself to keep breathing, too. Her features were as smooth and sharp as they’d ever been but she felt as if something was hammering on the door to her soul.

The doggish woman frowned, a sudden and dark shift in her features. She lowered herself to sit on the edge of the bed and willed her hands not to shake as they reached for Cidro’s shoulders.

But the boy started tugging at his hair, as rough as the woman had ever seen him, and Paloma drew in a sharp breath which cooled her lungs.

“No!”

This was not the youth who had made her smile in spite of herself when she’d seen him with Branwen; this was not the young man who had made tears prickle at the corners of her eyes when he’d undergone his Ceremony of Glass.

Or maybe this was the truest version of him: scared and shaking, falling apart before Paloma’s eyes.

She reached out again, clamping slender hands around his shoulders. That word – mama – sent a shock through the dog’s gut and she was glad that her hands were gripping the boy so they couldn't shake - but she gritted her teeth and let it pass.

<“Why do you say this?”> she wanted to know, and her heart thundered as if the answer might just break her, too. <“You know it is not true!”>

For whose sake was Paloma arguing, she wondered? If Cidro was broken then his guardian was surely far beyond repair.

[374]
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#5
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Optime | September 20th | Cidro’s room

(1164)
Changing this to mature just in case (mentions of suicide and self-harm).




Her hands were firm with sharp, slender features so different from the soft roundness of his mother. It wasn’t her, Cidro knew that. Paloma could never fully replace all he’d lost when his mother left him cold and hungry at the border, but she was there all the same— holding him steady. Her fingers dug in tight and it was then he realized she was just as lost as him. He felt guilty for letting his guardian see him this way, he never meant to hurt her. She didn’t deserve this. She was normally so confident and unaffected, so knowing he made her feel so unhinged… maybe he really should’ve offed himself when he had the chance. It’d be better that way.


When he pulled his hair tight like he’d done so many times before, his body shook at the heavy emotion he heard in her voice. The thought made him want to pull harder, to hurt deeper, but he was weak and could only wail in response, turning up to her with a broken look. When he spoke, so scared and small, it was then his guardian truly broke down. He could barely process what he called her—mamá—a word that was supposed to be for his mother alone. Instead he froze under her harsh grip, feeling ashamed that he couldn’t give her the answer she wanted to hear. He could’ve lied, maybe he should’ve lied, just tell her it was only a nightmare to calm her mind. He could wander out the following night, she’d never have to deal with his pathetic tears again. She could be happy. But Cidro was selfish, and he told the truth instead.


<“No I’m…“>


He sniffled, his voice trembling on every word.


<“I’m not put together right. I thought maybe if I tried really hard I could change myself, but…”>


He shook violently in Paloma’s grip, dissolving back into body wracking sobs as he hunched over, barely able to breathe.


<“I-I’m s-so tired of t-trying.”>


Each word felt like it had to tear through him to escape, leaving a new scar in its wake. He’d kept these thoughts tucked away for so, so long, he could barely string them into coherent sentences without choking on his own tears. Against his own volition, he leaned forward, pressing his tear stained muzzle against Paloma’s collarbone and sobbing there as he struggled to regain his breath. When he spoke again, he mumbled against her chest, his words laced with pain.


<“Just wanted to make you proud, just wanted to make her proud, and look what I gave you?”>


He turned his face into her, hiding it in shame.


<“I’m disgusting.”>


His voice broke on the word, knowing full well it was true yet still here he was, forcing his feelings on her like it was the only thing he knew how to do.


<“I’m girly a-and weak… too pathetic to take care of myself. You waste so much time on me, trying to help me, but I’m still this.”>


He shook his head through hiccuping sobs.


<“You think you can fix me, b-but you don’t know how wrong I am.”>


He pulled back then, not wanting to make Paloma feel any worse. She shouldn’t feel obliged to hold him. He wasn’t a kid anymore— he was just pathetic. He tried to wipe his eyes, but it did little to help the steady flow of tears. Instead he settled back further on his haunches, his words continuing to pour out in a shaky stream.


<“Me ’n Cicely have been friends for a while now, and I know she likes me, but I just… I can’t. I want to, dios, I want to, but I just can’t.”>


He couldn’t believe he was talking about this. He had a hazy memory of sharing these thoughts with Alessan and Hibiki, but not like this. Not with Paloma. She would throw him aside after this, he was sure. He knew his mother would. He lowered his head, ashamed.


<“But there was this boy— at Casa… I only met him once, but I… I can’t…”>


He willed himself not to pull his hair for Paloma’s sake— he never wanted to hear her sound so pained again. Instead he gripped his sheets tight, grounding himself as he stumbled through his shameful words.


<“I can’t stop thinking about him. The things I’m thinking… they’re not normal, máma. I’m sick.”>


He couldn’t stop the word from slipping again. He was so vulnerable, and it just felt so right, even if it made him feel like he was betraying his mother. He was sure Paloma didn’t appreciate it either, after all, why would she ever want a son like him after all he told her? After she knew how disgusting he truly was?


<“My mom gave up everything… she sold herself, Palo, to men, so I can what? Choose to do the same? Ser una maricón? I feel l-like I’m betraying her… disrespecting her. She left me here so I could be better than her, but I’m, so, so much worse.”>


His voice choked off again into another sob. This was it. She knew now. It was only a matter of time before she cast him aside. He wasn’t sure his response would be a healthy one.


<“I tried to make it go away with work, but I’m so tired. I d-don’t sleep or eat, ‘m so tired that I keep hearing things that aren’t there. I don’t know what to do anymore, I don’t know how to make it all stop. I… I couldn’t even get out of bed today. I don’t e-even know what time it is.”>


He curled in on himself further, bringing his knees to his chest. Dios he wished she would hold him. He wanted to feel her strong, sturdy frame around his, for her to to brush her muzzle against his brow like she did at his ceremony and tell him it was alright. But it wasn’t alright. She shouldn’t have to do that. No one should have to do that for him.


<“I d-didn’t want to tell you— you’re so busy a-and I know you do a lot of hard work for the Queen. But it got so hard sometimes so… so I…”>


He tucked his face between his knees, feeling even more ashamed than before. His scalp was visible then, full of thinning patches where he pulled it out in clumps when it all became too much. His voice was low when he spoke, as if even talking about it was wrong.


<“I hurt myself, to make me feel better. I p-pull out my hair and hit myself, but…”>


He almost stopped there, but the words no longer felt like his own and moved against his own will, determined to finally voice his deepest fears.


<“Sometimes it gets so b-bad that I want to… to…”>


He whimpered, still just the terrified youth he'd always been.


<“I want to take my own life.”>





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#6
Paloma could feel the boy’s exhaustion; it was a feeling she had contended with in her past, in the days following Alanzo’s death – and then again in the days after she fled Eivissa. She wondered vaguely if she should tell Cidro about all she’d endured, about all she’d overcome to sit here with him now.

She didn’t want to shame the youngster for his pain – she wanted, painfully and desperately, to show him that it was all worth it, in the end. Paloma needed to let Cidro know that he would come through this darkness and the light he’d be bathed in on the other side – in this world, not some intangible next world – would be his reward.

She wondered how long he’d held this all in and at the same time she didn’t have to wonder; long enough, she thought. More than long enough.

Instead of relaying her own struggles, Paloma listened as Cidro wailed, letting each sob settle into her skin like salt in a wound, though she did not flinch away. He mentioned others – Abigail’s daughter and a boy from Casa – and that was when the pieces started to slot into place for Palo. Like a jigsaw slowly coming together, she saw why the young man felt he was broken.

“I cannot guarantee you anything in the next life, mi hijo,” she said with genuine sadness. “And I would not want you to leave me in this one – even if I could promise you that all of your pain would be gone.”

The dog leaned forward to place a curled forefinger under her ward’s chin. She knew Cidro couldn’t see her expression but he had always had an uncanny ability to know what she was feeling regardless. In this moment she needed him to pick up the fact that she wasn't wavering.

“Your madre did not do all she did and leave you here so you could blot yourself out – and it is not the same thing, Cidro. This is not something you have chosen and it is not some imperfección in you. It is just a part of you – it has no good or bad.”

Paloma’s hand dropped from the boy’s chin and swiped hurriedly at her cheek, ridding it of a teardrop.

“You can make your life a good one or a bad one but to do either you must live it. You must not give up.”

She huffed.

“I will not discard you – and I will not let you give up.”

[400+]
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#7
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Optime | September 20th | Cidro’s room

(889)
;__;



Her words were painfully sad, so unlike the Paloma he knew— although, Cidro was sure he sounded nothing like what she was used to either. Not that he could tell, he’d been so deep in this pain for so long now, he could hardly remember what it felt like before it all began, or if there was a before at all. He hadn’t meant to be so honest, but the words were no longer his own. He’d succumb to his exhaustion and tears, now here he was, sobbing like a child and confessing secrets he never dared give voice until this moment.


As she spoke of worlds beyond, Cidro wondered with guilt what she’d think if she knew he didn’t want to die to pass on— he just wanted to stop. He didn’t deserve to reunite with his mother or any of the de la Peña line that came before him, he was a shame to their legacy. It’d be better to just cease altogether, like he was never here at all. But she then turned it on herself, and Cidro felt as if he could hardly breathe. I would not want you to leave me. Dios, he was selfish. He wanted to reach out and comfort her, as silly as that was, but Paloma reached to grasp his chin, her words so sincere that he couldn’t move if he wanted to. He was utterly fixed, sightless eyes staring blankly into her own, mouth slightly agape as he took in her words.


If his tears had settled before, they came back in abundance now. Like pools they flooded his eyes and spilled over his tawny fur, making his silvery eyes glisten with the weight of them. He couldn’t move to wipe them, though— no—he would’t dare. Her words, short as they were, lit something deep inside Cidro that he thought was smothered long ago— Hope. He wanted to reach down inside and grasp it with eager hands, pry it up out of himself and ensure it didn’t leave him again. But it was a small and fleeting flame, one that needed to be tended with care to keep aglow. But it was there all the same. If she meant her words, then maybe, just maybe…


Her hand left his chin and he wanted nothing more than to lean back into its warmth, but he stayed fixed in place, still crying silent tears and clinging tight to his flickering hope. She didn’t let it end there, though, and what she said next hit him hard and deep, equally painful and so right at the same time. Unbelieving, but hopeful, he spoke in a voice so small it was hardly there at all.


“You don’t… want to get rid of me?”


Cidro had so little permanent fixtures in his life that the idea that Paloma was so adamant to keep him, even after all he revealed, felt too impossible to even consider. But he wanted to, dios, he wanted to. And what she said of his disgusting thoughts, that it wasn’t a choice. That it was just a part of him like any other. He wanted to believe it. He wanted. He wanted. The flame flickered.


The youth flung himself at his guardian with a surprising force, far from the weak grip he had on her earlier. He needed to feel some of her strength, to hold her close and hope it rubbed off on him. He pulled his arms tight around her neck, burying his snout against her chest and staying there, just breathing her in. She was real. She was here. She wanted him. After a long while, he settled down, allowing himself to loosen his grip and pull back a bit. He settled himself in her lap, head resting against her chest as his arms hung loose around her. He turned up to her, facing her directly as if his milky eyes connected right to her soul.


“I don’t want to leave you.”


He was shocked by his own sincerity, the clarity in his tone. His voice may still have sounded scared and small, but there was a certainty to it, that despite all his hesitation, he knew that this was true.


“But I don’t want to make you weak either. You’re so busy sometimes and I don’t… I don’t want to make things harder for you.”


He pressed closer, feeling guilty for doing so, but some part of him needed to know that what he said wasn’t as true as he’d been conditioned to believe.


“I know you never asked for any of this in your life, you never asked for me— but I… if you really don’t want to give me away, I—“


He moved a hand from her neck, reaching timidly for her hand to pull it up and squeeze softly— a pact.


“I promise to keep living if you swear you won’t leave me.”


He was terrified by how vulnerable he sounded, but he couldn’t stop himself.


“I know it’s selfish to ask, but… I don’t— I don’t think I can do that again.”


Merrick, Portland, the father he never knew, the aunts and grandmothers and cousins left behind, the faceless boys and girls he could never reach— the ones bound to brothels, his mother—


He squeezed her hand.


“I can’t lose you too.”





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#8
OOC: these two. best doggos.

IC:
Cidro’s voice, when it emerged, had all the ferocity of a trembling mouse. Some part of Paloma, deep, deep down, wanted to recoil, to deny what the world had done to this innocent youth, this son of hers. But to deny everything the world had taught Cidro would be to deny him altogether – and that was something the dog wasn’t prepared to do.

He will make you weak, a voice in the recesses of her mind told her. And you will lose him in the end.

Paloma sniffed to rid herself of that voice and an instant later Cidro flung himself at her. He was all limbs – lanky and gangly – but the force behind that forward motion surprised even the woman who had been determined to convince him that he had strength enough to see his life through.

Cidro didn’t want to leave Paloma. Even though the dog couldn’t comprehend why or how he had come to that conclusion, she knew it was a good thing. For him, for her. That voice in the depths of her whispered that goodness and innocence were not things that could last forever – that this concession of her principles would be her downfall.

Paloma ignored it.

Her eyes narrowed and her finger dropped from the youth’s chin, her hands finding his mane in soothing strokes which only paused as she took in another breath through her long nose.

“Mijo, if you could make me weak then I could not have been that strong to start with.”

Paloma wondered again at his perceptiveness. How did Cidro know that returning to a state of weakness was her greatest fear when she had been so careful not to let too much of her slip? Or had she failed in that endeavour?

The hound grasped the boy’s hand and let him feel the beat of her heart.

“I will not leave you, Cidro; that is that.” There was a finality in her tone. Those words were not solely for Cidro’s benefit but that finality convinced even the voice in the corners of her mind to hush.

[300+]
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#9
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Optime | September 20th | Cidro’s room

(634)
You can pp him falling asleep, and then we can move on to a more recent thread (which I’ll probably have up sometime soonish)




He sighed as her hand stroked his hair, leaning into its comfort. His scalp was still tender from where he’d pulled it out in clumps, but her soothing touch calmed the pain. He smiled through his sniffles, a weak gesture, but sincere. He had a long way to go from here, but maybe with Paloma by his side, things wouldn’t have to be so scary anymore. He couldn’t deny that his desire to end it all was still tempting, but knowing what it would do to Palo… he knew he couldn't do such a thing.


The youth gasped as Paloma moved their clasped hands to her chest, speaking so clearly that it stole the breath from his lungs. I will not leave you. Her words bore into him with each heavy thump of her heart. He knew that if his childhood taught him anything, it’d be foolish to believe her, but she spoke with such certainty. Paloma wasn’t one to mince words, but this was a delicate, emotional matter. Somehow, despite that, she refused to waver. Maybe this time things could be different.


He wanted to respond, but the words were caught in his throat. Not knowing what else to do, he tentatively reached up with his free hand to cup her face, not willing to part their clasped hands— the thumping of her heart was too calming to give up just yet. He slowly traced his thumb across her features, noting how slender she was. He hadn’t mapped her face like this before, only Cedric and his mother, but it only seemed right to do it with her as well. She was a permanent fixture in his life now, and he wanted to know what she looked like— even if he couldn’t really.


He paused when his fingers made contact with her cheeks, still slightly damp as if she’d been crying. How hadn’t he noticed? He tsked the thought away. There’d be plenty of time to map her features later, he decided instead to press gentle lips to her cheeks, kissing away her tears.


“Don’t cry, mamá. I do enough of that for the two of us.”


His voice was weak and strained, but at least he could talk again. His head was so heavy now, too, both from tears and exhaustion. He rubbed his eyes, unable to stop the little mewl of a yawn that escaped his throat. He was so, so tired, and she’d promised to stay by his side. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to ask just a little more from her, even if it was selfish. He needed her support now more than ever, and could only hope that she meant it when she promised he didn’t make her weak.


He leaned back from her face, mewling again before slowly lowering himself down, his head nestled in her lap. The sensation was equal parts heartbreaking and comforting— he used to do this with his mother. Palo wasn’t his mother, he knew that, but she didn’t have to be for him to care for her. She wasn’t her replacement, no one could be, but the word mamá felt too right to avoid with her, even if it brought up ugly memories. With time, he prayed they could work through it.


“‘M so tired… can you stay for a bit? Just until I fall asleep.”


He kept a tight hold of her hand— a reminder of her promise. Maybe it would be okay if he rested awhile. Just a few hours, he could let himself have that. He fluttered his eyes closed, a ghost of a smile on his lips. He wasn’t sure if it was a product of his exhaustion, but he couldn’t stop his words as they escaped in a whisper, barely there at all as he drifted to sleep.


Te quiero.




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