Diwa & Kaffi 34

Author’s Note: This chapter is all about love, and its many shades and strengths. But most importantly, it’s the special kind of love that makes one’s heart beat the strongest. I wanted Diwa to experience it in a profound way, at a level that moves and terrifies him in equal measure, to show his true level of dedication to Kaffi.



Maricel trudged slowly and sweatily into the front office of the community center and pulled up a chair next to Diwa at the main desk, thankful to be out of the sweltering heat. It was the height of summer and far too hot outside for anyone to do much of anything other than stay in the shade and avoid the sun. She’d even finished her afternoon chores early on purpose so she could spend some time in the cool of the air-conditioned office with her brother.

He’d been so busy lately they’d hardly spent any time together. She kind of missed him, even though they’d cross paths at the end of the day during family dinners. It had been months since they stood side by side doing the dishes afterwards, or playing video games in the living room, or even having a game of catch on the playground. He was already an adult, leaving her behind. He wasn’t going anywhere, though. She knew he’d always make good on his promise to take over Papa’s job. She just didn’t expect to be spending so much less time with him.

“Hey there,” he said with a smile, and handed her a bottle of water and a small packet of dried fruit their mother always kept in stock in one of the lower drawers. “I can’t blame you for hiding in here. It must be what, triple digits outside?”

“Getting there,” she said, holding the water to her forehead to cool herself. “There’s hardly anyone out on the green. Even Kaffi’s staying out of the sun today.”

“Yeah, we’ve been texting each other all morning. He’s absolutely bored, stuck in his nestroom. What about you? Any plans?”

“I’d head over to the community pool but it’s probably too crowded now,” she said with a shrug. That had been her original plan, but she’d overslept and ran out of time to get her morning chores done. She gave him a nudge with her bottle. “How did you swing getting assigned desk duty, anyway? That’s supposed to be my job now!”

“No reason we both can’t work it,” he said. “I’m just here because Kami couldn’t make it today. Her son has a doctor’s appointment this afternoon and I just happened to be around when she was looking for a substitute. The shift’s all yours if you want it.”

“Let’s split it,” she offered. “I rarely get to see you anymore.”

“Sure, why not,” he smirked, tussling her hair.

“Hoy! Tumigil ka nga!” She squirmed and giggled, punching him in the arm. “Jerk!”

“Heh. So – what have you been up to since school ended?”

She shrugged and kicked up her legs on the desk. Their mother hated it when she did that on the job, but the tenants didn’t seem to mind. They found it amusing! “Eh, a little of everything. Sitting in on a few tenancy meetings, hanging with my friends, working with Tassh in the orchard, helping babysit Koie now and again. Running chores for ina, mostly. You know her. Always has something going on.”

He hummed and took a sip from his own bottle. “Ever since Pop cleaned his office, he’s no longer puttering around the apartment. I bet she’s happy now that he’s out of her hair. More time for her own things.”

“She loves to keep busy,” she mused. Dari had been sending her on all kinds of errands lately, from shopping for supplies at the markets across the street to making deliveries to the post office and elsewhere. It kept her busy – and paid – and she didn’t mind it at all. It was all part of working behind the scenes at this estate, and she enjoyed it. Their father, on the other hand… “Speaking of Pop…” She leaned in and dropped her voice down to a murmur. “He’s been a bit down the last few days, yeah? Ever since they came back from that last trip to Panooria. Is something up?”

Diwa frowned. He’d noticed it as well. “He hasn’t said anything, but I think it’s Graymar. According to Kaffi, he’s had some sort of tintrite arthritis in his wing the last few months and it’s starting to affect his flying to the point that Joel-Kaiané is threatening to ground him. He’s been having it treated, but it seems to flare up whenever they take those long trips.”

Mari nodded slowly, confirming her fears. “That must be it. Gray’s been talking across the green lately to visit Pop instead of flying over like he used to. Must be hard for them.”

“Yeah,” he said. “Kaffi and I already told them both that we could do the run for them if they needed, but they said it’s too early for us to fly that far so soon. They’re taking it month by month. Graymar’s brother is going to do the run next time, and they’ll take it month by month after that.”

He wanted to say more but held back, as it wasn’t the right place. They were more than ready, and their father knew it. But they also understood there was more to it than just handing off the responsibilities, so they’d remained patient. And she understood her brother’s patience all too well! Diwa and Kaffi were itching to get more distance and airtime experience, but there was only so far they could go by just doing local errands and trips. They had to go further. They wanted to go further!

It was time to set her plan in motion, then. “What’s the farthest you’ve flown with him, Diwa?”

The question surprised him, but he appreciated the change in subject. “With Kaffi? We haven’t gone too far. We’ve been practicing every few days as we can, just going around the estate. Maybe a flight to the cove and back. Doing local deliveries for tenants to get used to added weight. Why do you ask?”

Perfect! She gave him an animated shrug, waving the question away. “Just curious. I’m surprised you haven’t gone into the city yet. You know, take the day off, go on a date or something…” She added a quick rise of an eyebrow and a sideways glance just to drive the point home.

“Kaffi put you up to that, didn’t he?” he laughed. “He’s been wanting to take me to the Wharf District for the last month or so. I’d love to go but I’ve just been too busy.”

“Anó? You’re never too busy!” she said, prodding him in the arm. “You never let yourself have any fun, Diwa! You want to go? Go then! I can pick up your slack easy!”

He prodded her right back. “Are you sure you want to work with Tassh in his garden?”

She crinkled her nose. “Ew, no! I’ll do anything except that. I can’t stand the smell of that fertilizer he uses.”

“You get used to it.”

“I’d rather not, thank you very much!” She prodded him once more, just to drive the point home. “Seriously, though – if he asks again, you tell him yes, and let me know. I’ll cover you, or get someone here to pitch in.”

Diwa raised his eyebrows. “You’re sure about that?”

Ay, was he always this dense? “Mag isip ka nga, Diwa. Spend as much time with him as you want! It’s what we want, and it’s what you both deserve.”

“He put you up to saying that as well, did he?”

“Natutulala ka ba?” she giggled. “You doofus! The rest of us did! Your family. And his!”

“I’ll call him during my next break,” he said, the corners of his mouth curling up into that ridiculous grin he always had when a great plan slipped into his brain. Even if it was hers to start with! “I’ll even clear it with Pop and Graymar. Is tomorrow fine with you? It’s supposed to be another clear day, but not as hot. It would be perfect.”

“You should be asking Kaffi,” she said, raising an eyebrow at him. “Doesn’t bother me at all.”

“Great! He’ll be thrilled!” He pulled his sister into a side hug. “Thank you, Mari!”

“No problem,” she said, wrinkling her nose and nudging him away. “And don’t do that again, you’re all sweaty and you stink!”


Kaffi woke up especially early the next morning, earlier than everyone else in the nest, so he could prepare for the trip. Truth be told, he’d been up before dawn, too excited to sleep in. Diwa had completely surprised him when he’d called yesterday afternoon, letting him know he’d cleared both of their schedules and were free to spend the entire day in the city. He’d wanted to bring Diwa there since they’d started flying! He kept as quiet as possible, pulling together his saddle and blanket, his satchel, and anything else he might need. He had the flight checklist to go over that Graymar had drilled into him, which he’d go over just before they headed out, but for now he fretted over what to bring and what Diwa may need of him. He was tempted to call or vidchat him but refrained, knowing he was busy himself. They’d meet on the roof of Building C at seven.

Iliah, fresh from sleep with a knotted mane and heavy eyelids, appeared at his door frame while he was in the middle of packing and repacking his satchel, tapping at it and giving him a quick smile. “Ai,” she talk-whispered. “Good morning. You’re up earlier than I expected.”

“Good morning, Iliah.” He bobbed his snout at her. “Did I wake you?”

“No,” she said. “I needed to get up anyway. Do you need anything from me before you go?”

“I should be fine,” he said, sidling up to her. He started untangling some of the knots in her mane and patted it down. “We’re going to the Wharf District and perhaps to Mount Lee if we have the time.”

“Hmm. It will be a nice day for it,” she said, poking at his saddle straps. “You’re a natural flight, Kaffi. Not a buckle out of place.”

He grinned and softly ruffled his wings. “Thank you. Paddir taught me well.”

“How is Diwa?” she asked.

“He’s fine,” he said, tilting his snout. Didn’t she just see him on the green yesterday?

“I meant flying,” she continued. “How is he as a ride?”

Kaffi breathed in, thinking about how to answer. It wasn’t something that he could put into quick and easy words, nor did he want to go with any cold and clinical explanation either. He let his wings expand slightly, imagining how it felt to have Diwa sitting in the saddle. It had only been less than a month, but already it felt as though their pairing had become a true instinctual bond, that they’d already been flying together for years.

“He was a quick learner,” he said finally, closing his wings again. “Nervous at first, but I think we both were. He’s patient. He…he always seems to be aware of my movements, which I did not expect. He anticipates them. I’m not sure if that was Annie’s training or his instincts, or all that time he spent watching me, but it’s made our flights feel, I don’t know…pleasurable. Enjoyable.” The mere thought of that made him blush and his wings flutter again, but he chose not to hide any of that.

Iliah nodded, and started circling him, inspecting the rest of his preparation. “I’ve watched the two of you off and on,” she said. “You complement each other on a level I rarely see, Kaffi. It’s a true bond. That’s something to be proud of.”

Kaffi hummed quietly. “I wouldn’t say proud,” he said, scratching his snout. “Perhaps lucky is a better word.”

She continued her circuit and stopped in front of him once again. “Either way,” she said. “I am proud of you.” She nuzzled her snout against his. “Treat him well.”

He felt that curious warmth on the bridge of his snout again. “I will,” he said. “Time to go, he should be getting here soon.”

She let him go, patting him on the arm as he passed. “Tell him I said hello,” she said.

“I will.”


Kaffi flapped his wings to gain altitude and spread them out for an extended glide, excited by the feel of the morning breeze against his face. “Are you doing okay, Diwa?” Kaffi said, tipping his head slightly in his direction. “We lucked out. There are calm winds today, so I don’t have to push as hard.”

Diwa almost hadn’t heard what he’d said, as he’d been too distracted by the view. They’d pulled away from land and made a gentle curve up the coast towards the city, and it was also amazing and distracting! This was the first time he was seeing his part of the province form this angle. He’d seen their estate towers from the city, but never this close. And while he’d certainly seen the city before, he’d never seen it like Kaffi would have. He wanted to take it all in and remember it. “I’m doing fine,” he said after a moment. “So weird seeing our neighborhood from this angle, it looks so small and compact! Is this the route you took with Iliah a while back?”

“Close to it,” he said. “We like to go out over the water a little more, but the route is the same.”

Diwa hummed in response. Kaffi explained that he’d chosen to stick a little closer to the coast for safety’s sake, and he agreed that was a good idea. They were already going a lot faster than they normally flew, and while it was a new sensation for them, Diwa was surprised at how little the height bothered him. He wasn’t sure if it was due to the calm surface of the bay below or that Kaffi had kept an exceptionally steady flight path, but he chose not to dwell on it. Thankfully, his father had thought to remind him to take his new goggles – a gift from him to celebrate their first flight – and slid them on. It was an expensive brand, with curved and tinted lenses for maximum sight and protection. He also pulled on his knitted fingerless gloves, a gift from ina, to keep his hands warm.

The majestic rise of Mount Laimora to the northwest caught his eye; it was the largest mountain in the entire area and visible from pretty much everywhere. It reminded him of their stargazing weekend in Griffith Park, and the conversation they’d had up there. It reminded him of the occasional moment they talked about their bond, and about their fathers’ bond, and of all the moments they shared together. And it reminded him, mostly, of their brief conversation in the stairwell. Diwa had taken the train to the base of that mountain a few times in the past, where it terminated at a small village. A shuttle service brought visitors to the summit caldera, where there was a tintrite shrine and a burial field. Kaffi would glance over at it every now and again as they flew, a mix of sadness and reverence in his eyes, as his own family had laid a few elder relatives to rest up there over the years. Diwa wondered, somewhat morbidly, if Kaffi was thinking of his own mortality. Or Graymar’s.

“Hey, check it out,” Kaffi said, breaking the silence, and lifted his snout towards the skyline ahead. “My favorite view every time.”

The city center rose before them, high rises sweeping up in a gentle arc from either side, towards the wide mouth of the Siisha River at its center. Its bay was dotted with many different ships, from local ferries and one or two cruise ships to several smaller pleasure boats and yachts. The eastern waterfront had a scenic highway at its edge, leading out towards the towns and villages on the edges of the peninsula. The western waterfront, on the other hand, was lined with several fancy renovated warehouses and shopping districts, with the business towers looming just behind them. And set back halfway into its suburban neighborhoods was Mount Lee, a tall promontory with a clear grassy peak.

“Decreasing altitude, Dee,” Kaffi said, shifting his wings. “Heading towards Pier K on the west side. It’s the one with the red and orange roof.”

“Check,” he said in response, leaning ever so slightly backwards as Kaffi tilted himself downwards. Kaffi was still calling out his movements and it made him smile, even after he’d begun learning to anticipate them. It made him feel safe. “Is that a landing pad?”

“It is,” he said. “There are locker rentals on the top floor. What time is it?”

Diwa checked his watch. “Almost eight,” he said. “We got here earlier than I thought.”

“Good, we can store our things and get moving quickly then,” Kaffi said, and moved further into a slow dive.


This was the first time Kaffi had been to the city with someone other than his family, and this realization hit him as they approached the wall of day lockers in the wide foyer. Whenever he visited with Graymar and Shahney, it was for business and visiting adult friends. The trips were enjoyable but never all that exciting, as he would spend most of the time trailing them. His visits with Iliah, on the other hand, were always fun. She’d lived here for a few years while in culinary school and knew her way around extremely well. And now that he was here with Diwa, he felt something altogether different and new. Even though his older ahpadé Aldrine lived here, Diwa was not as knowledgeable about this part of the area and relied on Kaffi to play the role of tour guide. He couldn’t wait to show him all his favorite shops and vistas.

Diwa helped Kaffi store his saddle in the locker and looked around. “At the risk of sounding like a yokel…” he said with a lopsided grin, throwing his gloves and goggles in as well. “I’m surprised this place isn’t filled up already. I’m assuming there are more day locker facilities around here?”

Kaffi closed the locker and handed Diwa one of the keys for safe keeping. “They’re around,” he said, and directed him towards the main exit escalators. “This one just happens to be my favorite. It’s close to where Iliah used to live, it’s never too crowded, and it’s not that expensive. Come – let’s go get brunch at the dockside restaurant.”

Diwa fell in step with him as they exited the open-air foyer and out on to the busy boardwalk. There was already a crowd of tourists and locals making their way down the main pedestrian thoroughfare this morning, giving them a perfect excuse to people-watch. There were beings of all kinds here today: a large family of tintrite tourists strolling from one shop window to the next, chatting nonstop and their wings rippling excitedly; a long and noisy line of youngling humans tethered to a walking rope and trailing their teacher, who led them in a cheerful song; a family of aanoupii gathered on one of the piers, quietly enjoying the bay view; a group of well-tailored and talkative business workers of all kinds heading towards a brunch meeting at one of the fancier outside restaurants up the way. Kaffi threaded through it all easily and without delay, leading him towards their next destination.

After a filling brunch – Diwa absolutely loved the open-air restaurant with its views of the city and the bay – they started walking the length of the Wharf District. Kaffi let Diwa drift from one store to the next, spending as much time as he liked. He and Iliah had already visited a few of them recently, but he’d bypassed so many more that sparked his curiosity. Some were small bodegas and tee-shirt shops aimed squarely at the tourist. Others were for the local business worker, selling fashionwear, watches and jewelry. There were coffee and pastry shops on every block. The more interesting places were at the fringes and hidden alleys of the shopping district, where locals could find all sorts of quirky and unique wares. They were both intrigued by the furniture outlet stores, and had a good laugh pretending to window shop for new items for Samuel’s office. Diwa gravitated towards a very heavy and ridiculously expensive oak desk, gushing about how much he’d love to have it as his own.

It was late morning by the time they came towards Kaffi’s favorite place, the crafting store where Iliah had bought his first armband. He’d wanted to hit this place first thing but had to wait for it to open, plus he didn’t want to rush everything. He felt an unexpected wave of nervousness as they entered, but it disappeared once he recognized the tintrite elders he’d met the last time he was here. They were once again surrounding the craft table, elbows deep in bead trays and string and chittering with laughter as they shared the latest gossip.

The owner, sitting at the head of the table, perked up at the sound of the door chime and gave them a wide smile and a wave. “Ai!” he said. “Welcome, youngling! I remember you. You are Iliah’s ahpadé, yes? Kaffi, is it?”

Kaffi nodded and laid a quick hand on Diwa’s back. “Hello, elder! Yes, I am Kaffi. And this is my…my ride and best friend, Diwa.” The bridge of his snout heated up. Eiyah, did he just slip up? It hadn’t even occurred to him how he should introduce Diwa! His ride? His bonded ride? What would he prefer? He should have asked him well before now!

But Diwa only smiled and bowed towards the elders. He’d definitely noticed his trip-up but chose not to say anything about it. “It’s nice to meet you, mani,” he said, bowing at each of them in turn. “Kaffi has told me quite a bit about your work here. The bands he’s shown me are lovely.”

One of the other elders pointed a talon at the band currently on Kaffi’s arm. “That is one of yours?” she asked, lowering her snout to have a better look over her reading glasses. She hummed long and lyrical; impressed. “That’s very nice work, quite original use of the colors and patterns. You’re a quick learner. I’d have used smaller beads for the lighter colors, but eh, that’s just me. Come, have a seat?”

Before Kaffi could say anything to him, Diwa glanced back with a quick smile and tipped his head slightly towards the table. Kaffi’s breath caught and his eyes went wide – Diwa wanted to experience a part of tintrite culture he held close to his heart! He skittered to the low table with him and joined the elders in band-making. Immediately Diwa started asking detailed questions; what kind of thread was used, what the beads were made of and what the patterns meant. He’d gone and studied the craft all on his own, without his knowledge!

Eiyah, Diwa…! he thought, basking in the warmth of his happiness. You’ve done so much for me!

Diwa picked up on the process quickly, enjoying how it was social and relaxing at the same time. The elders not so surreptitiously coached him on which patterns and colors he should use; Kaffi had an idea they were suggesting a particular message regarding their bond but didn’t quite understand where they were heading with it. He’d have to remember to look up the patterns when they returned home, but for now he decided to just let it all happen. Diwa was making him an armband, they both had been accepted into this crafting circle, and nothing else could make him happier right now. Indeed, he would make a special band for Diwa this time. This would be a gift to him, from the heart, for everything he’d done these last few months. And perhaps for everything they’d do together in the future.


Mount Lee was the highest point in the city and a major destination for those wishing to see one of the area’s most famous and most photographed vistas, with its rolling skyline and treelined neighborhoods spreading out across both sides of the Siisha River. The hill was relatively quiet on weekday afternoons, making it a favorite resting spot for locals and bonded rides. The city’s quieter suburbs surrounded the hill, with a curious mix of estate grid streets, wide streets lined with apartment buildings, and quiet cul-de-sacs with single family homes. This was indeed a much older part of the city, created well before the estate grid boom a few generations ago, which gave it a quaint and somewhat historical feel. Looking out further from the city, one could see the slow and graceful curve of the bay shore as it stretched south towards the cove on the opposite side where Diwa and Kaffi’s estate was situated. Even further out, on a clear day one could see not only across the bay but all the way down the peninsula, its hills slowly extending and receding out into the sea.

After a filling lunch and more window shopping in the Wharf District, Diwa and Kaffi took the tram ride up to the hill’s peak and found a perfect spot on the southeastern side of the slope. A pleasant and cool breeze came in from off the water and the sun was still high in the sky, perfect weather for taking the day off. They’d purchased some drinks and snacks to tide them over; after all that walking, flying, and crafting, it felt good to relax.

Diwa leaned up against Kaffi’s belly, Kaffi’s hands resting on his shoulders. He felt safe and happy whenever they sat together like this…it wasn’t something they did all that often, but when they did, he treasured it completely. This was their way of sharing their bond when they were not in the sky; in a way, this was Diwa’s approach to their connection while Kaffi’s was to fly.

Other bonded humans and tintrite sat nearby, many sitting close just like they were. Some tintrite were on all fours, with their bonded human counterparts resting against them. Others were side by side, leaning against each other’s shoulders. They had no issue with showing public displays of physical connection…in fact, many cherished it closely just like Diwa did. Indeed, he’d grown so much closer to Kaffi over the summer and had accepted this connection happily and completely, and had not regretted it at all. And knowing there were other bonds out there who felt as content and connected as he and Kaffi reminded him that he wasn’t alone. That this was a special connection that was to be celebrated, not hidden.

Ai…he did love Kaffi, didn’t he? The best friend anyone could ask for.

Kaffi dropped his head down against the top of Diwa’s head; he liked doing that whenever they were fully at rest and he was in the mood for nuzzling. He let it rest there but never added any weight to it to make them uncomfortable. Diwa startled him by patting him lightly on the snout, and he hummed contentedly in response. He felt the rumble of his voice against his back.

He had to let him know.

“Kaff?” he said quietly.

Kaffi slid his arms across his chest again, and Diwa held them. “Hmm?”

“This is…” he started, only to stutter to a stop. He squeezed Kaffi’s arms slightly, feeling his face heat up. Was he really going to go through with this? Was he ready? Would he ever be? But he couldn’t wait any longer. This was too important to ignore.

“I like this, Kaff,” he started again, softly patting his arms. “Forgive me, it’s hard to put into words. Especially as a human. Some of us tend to see this as a sort of…I don’t know, a romantic kind of thing. I mean, I don’t really know if it is or not. Right now. Yeah?”

“Hmmm.” Low, short and melodic. Agreement.

“I mean, I just…I just want you to know,” he started, and to his surprise he felt the back of his throat tensing up, like he was about to cry. He took an uneven breath, squeezed his arms once more and continued. “I meant every word I said up in Griffin Park. I don’t want to hide anything from you, Kaff. I like this connection. But I guess I’m still processing what it means to me? Does that make sense?”

Kaffi hummed softly. Curious. “Does this bother you, fiiri?”

Diwa didn’t answer straight away. Did it truly bother him? Sure, he sometimes felt self-conscious and embarrassed by intimate physical connection with other humans, and he hadn’t had any experiences with any other beings, at least not to this degree, but this connection between them…this felt right, in his heart and in his mind.

It felt true.

“…not entirely,” he admitted. “I feel nervous sometimes. I wonder what others might be saying, what they’re thinking. But I don’t feel ashamed. I could never feel ashamed of this, Kaff.”

Kaffi responded with a quiet and happy rumble of a hum and nuzzled his snout against the top of Diwa’s head, ruffling his hair. “I am pleased to hear that,” he said and rested his snout atop his head once more. “Dee, I enjoy that you touch my shoulders when we fly. It’s part of our bond. It reminds me that you’re there with me. And I enjoy it when we are at rest like this. I enjoy being with you.”

“Same, Kaff,” he said quietly. He felt his heart skip and he grabbed at Kaffi’s arms this time, suddenly afraid he would let go.

“Dee…” He slid his hands back to Diwa’s shoulders and dropped his snout down next to his cheek.

Diwa shivered…this was the closest and the most intimate they’d ever been, privately or otherwise. Even here and now, on this grassy hill overlooking the city, with so many people possibly watching them. He fought an urge to squirm away. It would betray his true emotions, and it would hurt Kaffi. He didn’t dare look at any of the other bonded rides right now. He didn’t want to know if they were watching, and he refused to upset this moment. He focused solely on the tip of Kaffi’s snout, his long thin whiskers, and his dark eyes.

“Dee,” Kaffi said again, so quiet that only he could hear him, and gave his cheek a small nuzzle. “Whatever emotions you may have about this, now or later, do not hold back on my behalf. I am more than happy to reciprocate.”

Ay…! Diwa felt his heart burst into a million wonderful pieces and tears well up in his eyes. “Kaff…” he said, barely able to find his own words. “How did we…” His voice caught and he couldn’t speak. Oh, gods and goddesses, Kaffi had spoken words he had not expected, nor had he been hoping for them, and they were words that filled his heart with a joy he’d never felt before. He reached up and wiped the tears away…it took him several minutes before he could respond again. Ai, Kaffi…he’d gone ahead and given him the opening he wanted and needed! He squeezed Kaffi’s hands once more, so, so tightly.

“How did this happen?” he said, barely able to get the words out. “I mean…we’ve been such close friends since childhood. I don’t want anything to ruin that.”

“I don’t think it will,” Kaffi said. Another gentle squeeze of his shoulders. Another cheek nuzzle.

“I don’t think it will either,” he said, and rested a soft hand on his snout. “I just worry, is all.” He leaned in and nuzzled him. Then, on impulse, kissed him quick, just above the nostril and behind the whiskers. “Maraming, maraming salamat…mahal na mahal kita, Kaffi.”

Another gentle squeeze and a hum of pleasure. “Mahal din kita, kaibigan.”


“Hoy! Tumigil ka nga!” (Tagalog) — “Hey! Cut it out!”
“Mag isip ka nga, Diwa.” (Tagalog) — “Don’t be silly, Diwa.”
“Natutulala ka ba?” (Tagalog) — “Are you kidding?”
“Maraming, maraming salamat…mahal na mahal kita, Kaffi.” (Tagalog) — “Thank you so, so much…I really love you, Kaffi.”
“Mahal din kita, kaibigan.” (Tagalog) — “I love you too, my friend.”